Russian Tea Cakes

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 5 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 6 dozen
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Half recipe Christmas Cookie dough, at room temperature, recipe follows

1 1/3 cups roasted salted chopped pecans

2 cups confectioners' sugar

Christmas Cookies:

8 cups sifted all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)

3 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons almond extract

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl mix together the cookie dough and the pecans. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Form 1-inch balls from the chilled dough and place them 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake until the edges of the cookies start to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
  4. While the cookies are cooling, line another cookie sheet with wax paper. Sprinkle 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar on the bottom of the sheet and place the slightly cooled cookies on top of the sugar. Place the remaining 1 cup of confectioners' sugar in a passe or fine sieve and then sprinkle over the tops of the cookies.

Christmas Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with sugar until fluffy and light. Mix in the eggs, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Turn down the mixer and slowly add the flour mixture, a third at a time to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Use 2 pieces to make cut out cookies, and the other half for the Russian Tea Cakes.
  3. For the cut out cookies: On a lightly floured surface roll out a portion of cookie dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Place the cookies on lightly greased or nonstick cookie sheets. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes, rotating cookie sheet halfway through the cooking time. Cool on pans about 5 minutes, and then transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
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