Russian Tea Cakes – Daily North Shore
These little snowballs of melt-in-your-mouth pleasure are full of crunchy toasted walnut. They’re the perfect go-along with that mug of hot chocolate, tea, or cider. Put some out for Santa, and he’ll leave a trail of powdered sugar next to the gifts under the tree.
Note: On a recent baking day we made a delightful discovery: You can powder your own sugar. Just clean out your coffee grinder and pulse regular cane sugar for several seconds (about 1/4 cup at a time) and voila! powdered sugar.
Yield: 4 dozen small cookies
• 2 cups (four sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
• 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar, divided (You will use 2 Tbsp with the nuts, 1 cup in the cookie dough, and 1 cup to roll the baked cookies in)
• 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 2 cups walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 12 to 15 minutes until fragrant and browned. Rub toasted walnuts in a very-lightly dampened tea towel to remove walnut skins. Place toasted walnuts with 2 Tbsp of the powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse until ground. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and 1 cup of the powdered sugar until fluffy. Beat in the flour, salt and ground walnuts.
Increase oven heat to 400 degrees. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pinch off and roll small pieces of dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly golden. Watch carefully! The bottoms brown quickly.
While cookies are still hot, roll them in the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar. Cool. Roll in powdered sugar again. Serve.