At Christmas time, when I was little, I could not wait until my mom baked these wonderful Russian Tea Cakes. Now my own children love getting these delights at Christmas. And yes, I was always in the kitchen helping my mom and learning the techniques and methods that she used. I do not know where she found this gem of a recipe, however, I am so thankful that I wrote it down, or it might have been lost forever.
Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (only use real vanilla extract, no vanilla flavoring or artificial vanilla please!)
2 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour, for high altitude baking see the high altitude variation below*
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, add the vanilla extract. Combine the flour, salt, and walnuts. In two or three additions, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Thoroughly combine. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll the dough into 1” balls and place on a sheet pan a ½” apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until just set but not browned. Place cookies on a plate. While still warm, sift powdered sugar over the top, gently moving the cookies around so that even the bottoms of the cookies are covered in powdered sugar. ©2011
Tip: Do not squeeze or roll the cookies, as they will crumble if handled roughly.
*High altitude baking: Depending on your altitude, you will need to add more flour to the dough to ensure the correct consistency. The dough should be slightly crumbly but hold together when a small amount is pressed between your fingers. ©2011