Yesterday Mindy posted about Butter Spritz cookies. Those were definitely a favorite with my girls when they were growing up. But somewhere along the line, the family favorite changed over from spritz to Russian Tea Cakes.
These super easy, delicious treats look like little snowballs.
They also camouflage themselves as pfeffernusse which means a lot of people pass them by, mistaking them for their spicier Dutch cousins. The better for those of us who know of their secret goodness!!!
While we're sharing cookbooks, let me show you the shape of the one this recipe comes from. It's so old (See copyright below) and tattered, and it falls open automatically to the Russian Tea Cakes page.
I love the introduction. (Click to enlarge.)
These are SO easy, I almost hate to give it away.
The recipe calls for:
1 cup of butter
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt (I never add this. I just use salted butter instead of sweet)
3/4 cups of chopped pecans
Additional powdered sugar to roll the cookies in.
So first you soften the butter. If you're in a rush, you can use the microwave (because this recipe is pretty forgiving).
Cream the butter and sugar and add vanilla and try to avoid eating it all at this point because the dough is SO good.
Mix in flour, salt (if you're using it) and pecans.
This is where I also like to play with substitutions. Mini-chocolate chips work GREAT! I've been known to use rainbow sprinkles for colorful fun.
And this year I bought these.
Oh my stars. I am going to have to find lots of excuses to bake with these babies!
So you roll them into little balls and bake at 400 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes. As soon as you take them out, you (carefully) roll the hot cookies in the powdered sugar. Once they've cooled, you roll them again.
And then you have something pretty like this.
The Betty Crocker website has a cool adaptation where you basically create a solid chocolate middle. Check that out here. Chocolate-Filled Russian Tea Cakes
FoodGawker has an entire page on possible variations. Ahhhhh. So many pretty cookies.
Russian Tea Cakes
And now for the giveaway.
It's a year old, but I still have a few copies of Christmas in Hiding, so if you want in on the drawing, just let me know. The heroine, Callie, LOVES everything Christmas, but it's hard to celebrate when you're running for your life! Fortunately, she has Jackson to help.