Our holiday cookie recipe exchange is in full swing! There are 19 participants and by December 15th each will have made and posted about a cookie recipe received from a fellow food blogger. Shortly after the 15th Adrienne and I will have a summary post with links to all the great cookie recipes so everyone can enjoy the results.
Today, I’m happy to be posting the recipe I received. It comes from Jason of Ancient Fire Wine Blog. Along with this recipe for Russian Tea Cakes, Jason sent along a story about how this recipe came to be a regular on his family’s holiday table. I enjoyed the story so I decided not to paraphrase it for you.
These are my absolute favorite cookie my Mom always makes at Christmas. They never last long, mostly because of me. I called her to ask for the recipe this week and she told me the story of how she came by it, a story had never heard. When she was a little girl her Mom used to take her and her brothers across the street to a church that held lots of neighborhood activities including potlucks, etc. These cookies would be there from time to time. She recalls being there one day by herself (she can’t recall why or how) and that someone had made the Russian Tea Cakes again.
These were her favorites too so you can imagine how excited she would have been anytime she found them. She enjoyed a few, much like I would if they were just sitting around, but this time she asked around and found the person who made them. She proudly came home with the recipe which she has now been making for 50+ years around Christmas. I believe she was overwhelmed with joy that I called to ask for this recipe. I didn’t realize how meaningful the cookies were to her and I feel so good for having done so.
These cookies hold a bit of a special place in my heart as well. In my family we called them Mexican Wedding Cakes. My grandmother never had a Christmas Eve holiday cookie tray without these cookies on it. She passed away a couple years ago while we were living in Brazil so I fondly remember every way she made our holiday party special. It is foods and memories like these that never fail to bring a smile to my heart.
I didn’t alter the recipe that was sent to me. The specific ingredients I used included unsalted butter, unbleached all-purpose flour and pecans.
I hope you enjoy them as much as Jason and I do!
Russian Tea Cakes
Recipe from Jason of Ancient Fire Wine Blog
1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Additional confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter, vanilla and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add salt, nuts and flour to creamed mixture. Form dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place balls on an ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Watch the cookies closely so they don’t get too brown on the bottom.
Cool for 5 minutes and then roll in confectioners’ sugar. After they cool or before you serve, roll in confectioners’ sugar again. Makes about 4 dozen (I rolled mine big so I got a little over 2 dozen).