Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Russian Teacakes

One of my sisters is 6 years older than me. I can remember watching her make plates of cookies for her friends--the plates lined up on the table, and my sister adding one variety of cookie after another. I was probably 13 or 14 (?) at the time, and it was amazing to me. One of the cookies she made was shaped like a crescent and covered in powdered sugar. I didn't know what they tasted like, but I loved them.

On and off over the many years since I've wondered about the cookies, but never went the extra step to actually try to find out what they were (like ask my sister...lol...). When I came across this recipe from Lori of All The Splatters (a great blog), I was intrigued; given a different shape, these looked like the cookies from my sister's cookie plates. The recipe seemed nice and easy, and I decided to take the plunge. I'm so glad I did! These little cookies are bites of melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness, and they slip right down before you realize you've eating 5. Now that's a good cookie.

I followed the recipe exactly except I decreased the butter a little to adjust for my higher altitude.

Note: A well-founded warning from Lori: don't inhale with this cookie in your mouth. The coughing and choking fit that will ensue takes time that could be spent eating more cookies.

Russian Teacakes (adapted from All The Splatters)
Printable Recipe

2/3 cup toasted nuts (I used walnuts)
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup butter, room temperature (original recipe: 1 cup)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup powdered sugar

1. To toast the nuts, heat a dry skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the nuts and toast them, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes. Cool the nuts (this actually takes a while, so plan accordingly).

2. Put the cooled, toasted nuts in the bowl of a food processor with 2 tablespoons of the flour. Run the machine until the nuts are finely ground and are the texture of dry bread crumbs. Set the mixture aside.

3. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, mixing well. Add the remaining flour and the salt, and mix well. Add the nut mixture and mix on low until they are well incorporated. Cover the dough and chill it in the refrigerator for an hour.

4. Heat your oven to 350, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small cookie scoop (or a tablespoon) to form the dough into walnut-sized balls.

5. Place them about 2 inches apart, and bake them for 12-15 minutes, or until just starting to brown around the edges. Remove them from the oven and cool for only 3 minutes (they need to be warm for the powdered sugar to stick).

6. Sift the remaining powdered sugar into a medium bowl (don't skip the sifting), and gently roll the warm cookies in the sugar. Put the coated cookies on a piece of parchment paper to cool completely. I put my cookies on a wire rack, and they ended up sticking :(

7. The powdered sugar will melt and form a coating on the cookie, so if you want a more powdery look, sift some extra sugar over the top after the cookies have cooled completely. Also, don't move the cookies until the coating has had a chance to dry, or harden, or you'll end up with fingerprints on your cookie (not as cute).

Makes about 36 cookies.


  1. My mom made these every year! YUM! Though we called them butterballs...they go by many different names:) Yours look beautiful!

  2. These look awesome! I love powder sugar coated cookies since I am not a huge chocolate lover!

  3. These look sooo awesome.. I see these cookies being made in the near future.

  4. I'm so glad you tried them and liked them as much as I do!! Your photos are beautiful!

  5. My hussband loves these cookies I am so glad I found your blog

  6. @ttgarden, these cookies *are* so good...they slip down without so much as a *schlrup* ;) I'm so glad you found my blog, too! Thanks for your comment :)


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