Russian Tea Cakes

by Stacy

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and peace, joy, and happiness even if you don’t!

I hope your holiday season has been filled with friends, family, and festivities.

Our Christmas was a little different this year.

  • Instead of caroling with my family around the piano, I had Thai food with friends while my husband worked.
  • I tried making caramel rolls for Christmas Day like my mom, but my dough didn’t rise fast enough (cold kitchen or old yeast).
  • We mailed all our gifts early and opened the few we had early since my hubby had to work.

Next year (whether we spend the holidays in California or the Midwest) will be different anyway.

33 weeks!

(Mmm, grainy cell phone photo!)

Countdown to Baby: T-minus 7 weeks — my sister and I were both born after our due dates, so I’m not banking on an early arrival.

To help get in the Christmas spirit (and warm up the house), I asked my husband what type of cookies he would like. His first choice is always Russian tea cakes, a.k.a. Mexican wedding cookies, snowballs, and several other variations.

Last time I made them I was informed they were not the same as his mother’s (she didn’t have the right recipe with her). This time he was informed that if he didn’t like this version (from the correct recipe), I wasn’t making them again.


Whether or not that ultimatum influenced his opinion I don’t know, but he declared them “Good.” I’m making him a second batch today – then I’m putting my feet up and reading magazines.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Or what food puts you in the holiday spirit? My mom’s gingersnap recipe makes the house smell like Christmas to me.

print recipe
Russian Tea Cakes
A crumbly pecan base shrouded in sweet powdered sugar. Don’t try to sneak a taste – the powder gives it away every time.

I’ve used up to half whole wheat flour. The sandy texture of the cookies lend themselves well to whole grains.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1.) Preheat oven to 325F. 2.) Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. 3.) Stir in flour and salt. Mix in pecans until evenly distributed. 4.) Roll dough into marble-sized balls. Place on cookie sheet about an inch apart. Bake at 325F for about 25 minutes or until golden.5.) Roll warm cookies in powered sugar, then cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: about 4 dozen cookies

Stacy Spensley is a healthy life coach, recovering stage manager, lover of the Oxford comma, and vegetarian. She's bossy because she loves you.

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