Russian Tea Biscuits

Russian Tea Biscuits

Russian tea biscuits are like a kind of cookie. A magical cookie, filled with jam and raisins and nuts. The are crispy, tender and rich. They also are not all that sweet, which appeals to me. You can serve them as a dessert, but also serve them with breakfast or brunch. And of course, with your tea or coffee.

I can remember the first time I ever had a Russian tea biscuit. It was at the Cedar-Lee theater. I guess you could say I got my love for foreign films and Russian pastry at the same place. I found a recipe in my mother’s recipe collection. I tried them and they were pretty close to the ones at the Cedar-Lee. I did tweak that recipe a bit.

My only regret was not having raspberry jam. That is my favorite. The swirl of red in the biscuits is very pretty. I used what I had- peach- and am happy with them. Not as colorful, but very tasty, all the same.

Here is the recipe. I think you might want to try these with that next cup of tea.

Russian Tea Biscuits

3½ c. flour

½ c. sugar

1 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

¼ t. salt

1 c. butter, softened

2 eggs, separated

½ c. orange juice

1 1/3 c. preserves, (strawberry, raspberry, plum or apricot are favorites)

1 c. chopped walnuts

1 c. raisins, dark or golden

1 t. cinnamon

3 T. sugar

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and cut in butter until mixture is the size of peas. Stir in egg yolks and orange juice. Knead until dough is well blended. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll out a piece of dough 1/4 -inch thick into an 8×10-inch rectangle. Spread with 1/3 c. of the preserves and sprinkle with 1/4 c. each of the raisins and nuts. Roll up jelly roll fashion and set, seam side down, on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Beat egg whites until foamy and brush on dough. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on dough. Bake in a 350-degee oven for 25-35 minutes, or until golden. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. They can be golden, but a little under baked in the middle. Slice while warm into 6 pieces for each roll. Makes 24.

Biscuits right out of the oven. You want to get them a nice golden brown. The cracks on top are normal and not a problem.
Slice while still warm
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