Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cakes, Whichever You Call Them They Are DELICIOUS

Little Bites of Delicious.
The first time I tasted these I was maybe 8-9 and it was my first year of 4-H up in Hamilton county.  The recipe was in my first year cooking book and we made them as a group "FOODS 1" meeting with our leader Ruth Sproat.  I was hooked and have made them ever since.

Since all of the oatmeal cookies disappeared yesterday I made up a batch of these.  Doubting they could have been improved upon but experimenting just the same I substituted 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste* for 1 teaspoon of vanilla and was very pleased!  The rich deep intensity of the vanilla just packs a little more WOW into these heavenly bites.  This is a small batch of cookies only yielding 28 cookies and I doubt they last the weekend!

Ingredients for Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cookies:

2 sticks room temperature butter
1/2 C. sifted powdered sugar + more for rolling the warm cookies after baking
1 t. vanilla bean paste*  (or use 1 T. regular vanilla)
2 1/4 C. flour
1/4 t. kosher salt
3/4 C. finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the flour and salt beating just to blend.  Add the pecans just until incorporated.  Gather the dough into a firm ball and cover snugly with plastic wrap and chill 1-2 hours until firm.

Remove the chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to soften slightly.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment or use sil-pat  baking mats then set aside.

Pinch off lumps of cookie dough and roll them into balls the size of an English walnut and place 2" apart on the prepare baking sheets.  Bake about 10-11 minutes until set, only the undersides should lightly brown.   Leave them in the pans to cool slightly for 4-5 minutes then while warm remove to a pie plate of confectioners sugar and roll to coat well.  I use two tablespoons to roll and remove them to a rack or paper towels to cool.  Yield about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

*Vanilla bean paste is a product I order from King Arthur Flour Co.  It is a suspension of vanilla bean caviar, about the consistency of honey.  One teaspoon of vanilla bean paste = the caviar of one vanilla bean or three teaspoons of plain vanilla extract.  It adds delightful depth and flavor to whatever you are making.


Jeannette said...

I have never made these...but I do remember eating a few here and I want to make some. Do they demand an occasion or can they just appear for no reason at all? Oh, I will call them Russian Tea cakes..tea can be everyday...

Diane Cosby said...

We first had them during the hot summer as a girl, now I just make them whenever the mood strikes. They are quite common as a pretty little cookie anytime one is called for and they are very tasty too! I am with you, tea is a go any time as would be these little gems.