December 1, 2010

Russian Tea Cakes


12 Days of (Christmas) Cookies
Day 1

Russian Tea Cakes
(Mexican Wedding Cakes, Snowballs, etc)

It is only day 1 and I am already having a lot of fun with this! This is my favorite Russian Tea Cake recipe. I decided to get a little creative and make little snowmen out of them. Don't you just want to eat him up!? For the hat, I melted some chocolate coating and dipped a half marshmallow in it. I then placed it on parchment paper and threw it in the freezer for a couple of minutes. A dab of white frosting is placed on the bottom of the hat to help attach it to the cookie. The scarf is a strawberry fruit roll up cut in half, the eyes are tiny candies pressed in gently and the nose is an orange piece of Good and Fruity candy. If you are going to make them into snowmen, working while the cookies are still slightly warm helps all of the candy to stick more easily.

Ingredients:

Yields 18 cookies
  • 2/3 c pecans
  • 1 c salted butter, room temperature (margarine works fine in this recipe but butter tastes better and gives them a better consistency)
  • 1/4 c confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I've been known to add an extra teaspoon here)
  • 2 c all-purpose flour, separated
  • 1 c confectioners' sugar, for coating
  • Optional: Candy pieces to make snowmen
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To toast the pecans, place them on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • In a food processor, pulse together the toasted nuts and 2 tbsp of the flour, until finely ground.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the vanilla. Add the remaining flour, beat until well combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll up 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the parchment paper.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the bottom edges begin to brown (13 minutes exactly in my oven).
  • Allow to cool slightly. Roll the cookies in the confectioners' sugar, one at a time.
  • When finished, roll each cookie in the confectioners' sugar one more time (trust me, it's worth it to roll a second time).
  • Make snowmen, if desired.
  • Allow to cool. Store in an air-tight container between parchment paper.
  • Enjoy!



Day 2: Peanut Blossoms

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