Russian Tea Cookies always remind me of Christmas and this most recent Christmas was the first time Joey made them. As with all of Joey's baking these are perfect. I always find that Russian Tea Cookies are the cookie that you only end up getting one of for some reason, so what a treat to have an entire plate full! Joey most recently made these for Karolyn's baby shower and we also put them in the gift bags.
They key to making these perfectly is a good cookie scoop. If you don't have one I totally recommend getting one. They are only about $11 and, if you bake, you will use it often. Another thing you need is patience, of which I don't have, so we let Joey do all the baking. He's better at it anyway. This recipe is based on Anne Thornton's from the Food Network show Dessert First.
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups roasted, salted, chopped pecans
- Confectioners' sugar, for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the butter to your standing mixer, put it on medium speed, then add your sugar right into the bowl. Turn it up so it gets nice and fluffy.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the edges. Continue to beat it until it's almost white.
- Add your eggs. Keep the mixer on low and add them 1 at a time.
- Wait to add the other egg until the first one is fully incorporated into the butter and sugar.
- Add the almond and vanilla extracts.
- Add the baking powder to the flour and whisk really well, fully incorporating the baking powder into the flour and making sure any little clumps of flour are broken up.
- Add just a pinch of salt.
- Add the flour mixture slowly to the butter mixture.
- Add in the pecans on slow speed.
- Scoop the batter with a small ice cream scooper, melon baller, or even a soup spoon, just make sure they are all the same size. And don't worry about spacing them out too much on the baking sheet, they aren't going to spread out, they're going to stay like little balls.
- Put the trays in the fridge for an hour or so. You want the butter to harden up, making the cookies crispy and delicious when baked.
- Bake for 15 minutes until they are golden brown.
- While still warm, roll them in confectioners' sugar. It will adhere slightly to the cookies, looking like snowballs.