All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Monday, December 21, 2009

russian tea cookies:messy, but delicious

Last week, someone offered me these cookies ( which I accepted with alacrity), which they identified as Russian Tea Cookies. While I had never heard a name attached to them, I certainly remembered the cookies! As a child, I was a wee bit pudgy, and had a passion for sweets. I remember these cookies not only for their delicious melt- in -your- mouth taste, but the shower of confectioner's sugar down the front of your sweater. The messy child grew into the messy adult, and since I never remember to wear an apron, spills down the front are part of my wardrobe image. Nevermind; these are wonderful, tasty snowballs that continue to be popular at Christmas. My recipe comes from an older friend, and I'm grateful to her for finally giving these cookies a name. (Thanks, Anita!)
Russian Tea cookies
To make:
Preheat oven to 375F.
2 ungreased cookie sheets or jellyroll pans
1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 cups King Arthur flour
1/4 t. salt
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped in food processor
1/2 t. nutmeg ( optional)
More confectioner's sugar, for rolling
Cream butter and sugar.
Add vanilla, nutmeg, flour, salt, and nuts.
Mix well and form into dime or quarter sized balls.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes.
While still warm, roll in confectioner's sugar.
When cool, using a sieve, shake an avalanche of more sugar on top of cookies.


Martha said...

These are a favorite at Linderhof, not yet made this Christmas -- and they are a cookie by many names : Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Noel Nut Balls, Snowballs . . .

And they should only be eaten when wearing black!!!(BIG GRIN!)

Yours look yummy!

katrina said...

I had no idea, Martha! Having not heard of most of these names, I would've thought you were talking about five very different cookies! I agree - black it is:)
Thanks for coming by!

La Table De Nana said...

I just saw some recently and promised myself to make some..I can just taste them..Yours look so delicious also..What a cute photo of you:)

Michelle said...

Your Tea Cakes are perfection!

I've never been able to successfully make Russian Tea Cookies. Either the sugar melts because the cookie is too warm or it won't stick it all. I know practice makes perfect but ugly cookies just aren't fun to eat!

Kathy Walker said...

I love Russian Tea Cakes. I first saw the recipe in mom's Betty Crocker Cookbook. They are definitely melt in your mouth delicious! Great photo.

katrina said...

Thank you, Nana and Kate! Obviously, Russian Tea cookies are tried and true - and there's a good reason why the recipe has survived while others fade - they are simple to make and delicious. And the photo? My first stepmother was a whiz on the sewing machine AND b/w photography. She designed and sewed matchy-matchy outfits for my sister and I ( to our mortification) - what I really wanted was my big brother's fabulous, home sewn and embroidered cowboy shirts!

katrina said...

Michelle - thanks again for the cinnamon chips!
I solved the ugly cookie problem by using the sieve for the second coating - they look SO much better, if a tad messy on the platter.

Barb said...

First of all, that photo of you is adorable!!

Your cookie photos are gorgeous(of course!!) and I adore these cookies (by any name :), so thank you for the reminder 'cuz I'm going to make them today. (Personally, I don't think an 'ugly' cookie exists -but that's just me.)

katrina said...

Thanks, Barb! I have seen ugly cookies, but since they were made by several very proud little ones, they melted my heart....

Barb said...

Hi Katrina! Just wanted to wish you a wonderful and very Merry Christmas. I hope you, your family, friends and your many loyal readers have a joyful and blessed Christmas.