Mexican wedding cake cookies

Russian Teacakes

Russian Teacakes

This is the first cookie I can remember making with my Mother. She sat me down at the kitchen table with a pile of chilled dough. I think I was 7. She put a piece of wax paper on the table, then rolled out one small  ball of dough. She told me to do what she had just done. Roll out the rest of the dough into little balls. I sat there and made one tiny dough ball after another, until I was done. I can’t make these cookies without thinking of her. A special memory, indeed.

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.

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. The powdered sugar clings to the hot cookies and makes a sort of sweet coating.  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 your 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.

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