05 April 2009

Easter Teacakes


My husband has always loved Russian Teacakes. When we were first married it was one of the few recipes he specifically asked me to make for him. It was a cookie he remembered from his childhood.

I wasn’t familiar with them. It was not a cookie that was part of my family’s traditions but, eager to please, I tried the recipe in my brand new Betty Crocker’s Cookbook and found that I liked them almost as much as he did. It became my go-to cookie when we wanted a sweet treat.


On our first Easter together I thought about how we should celebrate. I had always had some kind of an Easter basket filled with treats on Easter morning, but we were on a tight budget and I thought perhaps we were too old for such things and needed to be more mature. On the one hand Easter baskets seemed like an extravagance. But, on the other hand, Easter without any special treats seemed a little austere.

In time I arrived at a compromise. I bought two coffee mugs with rabblits on them, something we would use since we both enjoyed coffee and owned only a few old hand-me-down mugs. I used them as small Easter baskets. I filled each of them with a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg (another favorite), a few jelly beans and a homemade batch of Russian Teacakes.

To make the cookies festive I made them in the shape of little Easter Eggs. These are a little more trouble to prepare than the basic Russian Teacakes I have posted about before. They have to be shaped by hand but to me they’re worth it. If you don’t mind ball shaped egg cookies go ahead and use a cookie scoop, but do try the lemon and colored sugars for a festive touch.


Easter Teacakes

One Recipe for Russian Teacakes
½ teaspoon lemon extract
zest from 1 lemon

liquid food coloring
3 cups powdered sugar (to color)

1 cup powdered sugar (for icing)
1 Tablespoon + 2 – 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
colored sugar sprinkles

Prepare Russian Teacake dough as described in the original recipe. You can use any type of nuts you desire.  This time I used hazelnuts.  Add the lemon extract along with the sugar and the lemon zest along with the flour.

While the cookies are baking tint the powdered sugar. This can be done by putting 1 cup of powdered sugar in a blender. Make a dent in the top of the sugar and drop in several drops of liquid food coloring (paste coloring tends to clump and remain in pieces.) Process in the blender until the sugar is evenly colored. If you prefer a brighter color add a little more food coloring and process again. Make as many different colors as you like. 

When the cookies are baked and still warm, roll them in the powdered sugar color of your choice. Let the cookies cool completely, then roll them in the powdered sugar again.

Prepare the lemon icing for drizzling by mixing 1 cup of confectioners sugar with 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Add more lemon juice ½ teaspoon at a time until it is smooth and reaches a good consistency for drizzling.


Place the icing in a flat ziplock baggie. Snip ¼ inch from a lower corner of the bag. Pipe the icing in a zigzag pattern across the top of the cookies. (The icing will roll a little on the top of the powdered sugar but will dry firm.) Sprinkle icing immediately with colored sugar sprinkles. Let set until icing is firm.

Enjoy!

10 comments:

Mary said...

What a wonderful idea. I really like your recipe for Russian tea cookies. Children will love your "Easter" eggs.

Elyse said...

What a fabulous story!! I love your tea cakes. They're just precious. Perfect for the Easter festivities. And, they look really yummy, to boot!

Ricki said...

One of my favorite cookies of all time. And I love how you made them into little eggs! They look beautiful, too.

MaryBeth said...

I love all of the bright colors, they are just so beautiful...The blue cookie is my favorite!

Grace said...

oh, how festive! it's so sweet that you were able to recreate these for your husbter. and your easter "baskets" sound terrific!

Mary said...

how nice and decorative!

noble pig said...

How cute! I love the colors!

Debbie said...

Russian tea cookies were one of my favorite cookies my Grandma made. When ever see them it always reminds me of her.

RecipeGirl said...

These turned out so pretty! What a great idea.

Donna-FFW said...

What a truly wonderful idea.. I may have to borrow it for Sunday.. gorgeous!