Russian Teacake Cookies

Russian Teacakes

I had a conversation with a childhood friend recently about these cookies. She remembered that my Mom used to make them, and she wondered if I still did. I still do make them. Wouldn’t seem like Christmas without them. Many of my favorite Christmas memories are about making cookies with my Mom.

I was about 7 or 8 years old when my mother showed me how to make Russian Teacakes. She sat me down at the kitchen table with the chilled dough. She showed me how to roll them into 1-inch balls. I sat there rolling one after the other while we listened to Christmas music.

Russian Teacakes, also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes, are a delicate, nut filled shortbread cookie coated in powdered sugar. The magic is created when the cookies, hot from the oven, are rolled in powdered sugar. Once cooled they are dusted with more powdered sugar. Whether you call them Russian Teacakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, or as another friend always refers to them, butter balls, these cookies are a must for my holiday cookie baking.

 

Russian Teacakes

1 c. butter
½ c. powdered sugar, plus extra for coating
1 t. vanilla
2 ¼ c. flour
¼ t. salt
¾ c. finely chopped nuts, nearly ground

Mix butter, ½ cup sugar and vanilla well. Stir flour and salt together and then add to butter mixture. Mix well and stir in nuts. Wrap dough and chill. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be lightly browned on the bottom. While still warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar. Dust again with sugar once cooled. Makes about 4 dozen.