Monday, December 11, 2006

Russian Teacakes ...

Some might know these as Mexican Wedding Cakes. I like Russian Teacakes better. The name conjures up images of Tsarist Russia, fine clothes, Fabergé eggs. I don't much like tea, but I'd drink it if it was served with these cookies.

They're simple to make, they're not too sweet, and they don't spread, which means you can fit a lot of them on a cookie sheet and get on with your other cookie-baking business.

There are a number of ways you can roll these in powdered sugar right after they come out of the oven. My mom dumps some powdered sugar into a Ziploc bag, tosses in a half dozen cookies, gathers the top closed in her hand and shakes them gently. Me, I dump some powdered sugar into a Pyrex pie plate and roll 'em around. I use one hand for rolling and moving the cookies to a cooling rack, and use the other hand, armed with a fork, to fluff the powdered sugar from time to time. It gets compacted (like snow) when you roll the cookies in it, and then the sugar doesn't stick to them as well. So fluff and roll, people. Fluff and roll.

Russian Teacakes
(From Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, Published by General Mills, 1963)

1 C. butter or margarine (I copy these recipes exactly, but margarine is Crisco's evil twin; use butter; the flavor's better, anyway)
1/2 C. sifted powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1/4 t. salt
3/4 C. finely chopped nuts

Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla thoroughly. Stir in flour and salt. Mix in nuts. Chill dough. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough in 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. (These cookies do not spread.) While still warm, roll in powdered sugar. Cool. Roll in sugar again.

(A note on sifted ingredients: If a recipe calls for, as this one does, an amount of sifted something, you sift, then measure. If a recipe calls for an amount of something, sifted, you measure the ingredient, then sift it.)


Anonymous Ethan said...

Bennington Pottery, yes?

(How's that for zeroing in on minutae?) (sp?)

10:46 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wow. Good eye. Bennington, indeed. Bought at the factory in Vermont.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

We had the same pattern. We still have the plate that's about the size of the one in your photo.

11:05 AM  

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