Russian Tea Cakes and a handful of delightful variations
Recipe type: cookies!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40
Our Christmas cookie stash is never complete without a goodly supply of these light, melt-in-your-mouth cookies. Also called Mexican Wedding Cakes, they are easy to make, and delightful to have on hand to serve with coffee or tea or a big cold glass of milk.
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into chunks
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar plus 1 to 2 cups for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 cup toasted nuts, finely crushed
  • (check out optional ingredients for variations)
  1. Combine butter, ¾ cup powdered sugar, salt and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until creamy.
  2. Beat in the flour and nuts.
  3. Chill the dough 30 minutes--don't skip this step! (Solemn Voice of Experience speaking!)
  4. Shape the chilled dough into 1" balls, or less if you prefer a smaller cookie. Arrange them on ungreased baking sheets about one-half inch apart, and chill for another 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Bake on the center rack of the oven until the cookies are set on top and deep golden on bottom, 18 to 20 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking to ensure even baking, if you care about that sort of thing.
  7. Transfer the cookies to a rack and immediately dust heavily with powdered sugar.
  8. Cool completely, then turn out into a large bowl and thickly dust with the remaining powdered sugar, coating all sides. Store in an airtight container, if, indeed, they last long enough to store (which I doubt).
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