Saturday, December 6, 2008

Russian Tea Cakes (aka Snowball Cookies)

I love the delicate buttery flavor of these cookies. This is another one of my favorite childhood recipes. I think it is really special that I can pass these cookie memories down to my own children.

Ingredients: 1 c. butter, softened, 1/2 c. sifted confectioners' sugar, 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, 2-1/4 c. flour, 1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 cups finely chopped walnuts (I also used pecans)

I despise big chunks of nuts in these cookies, so I cheat and use Brad's coffee grinder to grind up the nuts. Don't tell him, OK? I don't think he would appreciate bits of walnuts in his Starbucks House Blend.

By now, you know the drill. Cream together the two sticks of butter and the 1/2 cup of sifted confectioners' sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Mix in the pure vanilla extract. You can really taste the vanilla in these cookies, so don't use imitation vanilla. Trust me.

When you mix in the dry ingredients, it isn't going to look like there isn't enough liquid, but just mix the flour in until it has just combined and then continue mixing by hand to pull the dough together.

Add in the ground nuts and mix the whole thing by hand. Do not over mix. Just make sure that everything is well combined.

Roll the dough into one inch balls. If you are going to freeze these (which you can!) then stop after you have all of the dough rolled into balls. Freeze the dough balls individually on a cookie sheet or plate. Once the dough has frozen all the way through you can move the dough to a Ziploc bag.

When you are ready to bake, move the cookie dough from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you are going to bake. Then proceed with the rest of steps! Easy peasy.

Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 14-17 minutes. Do not burn these, you will be sorry. You want these cookies to be lightly brown on the bottom, no darker than that or the nuts will burn, which is huge big drama.

When you remove the cookies from the oven, let them sit for just a moment before you roll them in the powdered sugar. You most definitely want them to still hot. Remove them from the powdered sugar and let them cool completely.

Once they have cooled completely, roll them in powdered sugar again. Now pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy.

To recap the 12 Days of Cookies:
Day One: Andes Mint Cookies
Day Two: Rolo Cookies
Day Three: Peanut Butter Blossoms
Day Four: Snickerdoodles
Day Five: Candy Cane Blossoms
Day Six: Russian Tea Cakes (aka Snowball Cookies)

Happy Baking!


Amanda Sevall said...

I love that you use the coffee grinder! Very clever ;)

Leslie said...

How funny, in my family these cookies (some of my absolute favorites) are called Mexican Wedding Cookies. I have made them with walnuts and pecans, I have to say that I prefer the pecans over the walnuts but they are both so good!

shopgirlaudi said...

Oh, man...these are one of my faves. Mmm...I SO want a cookie:)

Elizabeth said...

We call these butterballs... :-)

3left Feet said...

Oh i love these... thanks for the reipe! I've looked for it for years! Ok i ws hoping to kinda stumble upon it sometime this life time! lol But oh man yours look great!

Patrizzia said...

I am totally making these for my cookie swap on the 22nd. YUM!