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Russian Tea Cakes

I like to present my favorite holiday cookies in a special way. I pile these fresh-baked tea cakes on pretty plates that I buy throughout the year, then wrap them with colored cellophane to give friends. —Valerie Hudson, Mason City, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch
  • Makes
    about 3-1/2 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
  • Additional confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in nuts. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-13 minutes. Roll in confectioners' sugar while still warm. Cool on wire racks.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 83 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 49mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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  • Queenlalisa
    Dec 29, 2020

    So delicious! I don’t need to make them again. I kept going back and eating another, then another until they were gone. Little bites of Heaven!

  • Katy's mom
    Oct 31, 2020

    I just made a batch of these cookies. They are currently chilling. People, if you have a standard size food processor, use it!!! Fast and easy-peasy. Put modern technology to work for you. Many of these recipes have been around forever, predating the food processor by decades, so don't be afraid to put modern technology to work for you. I used butter straight from the freezer and microwaved 6 or 7 seconds at a time, until it was squishy but not melted. Blitz everything in the food processor, adding the softened cubed butter and vanilla last. Process until it comes together in a soft pliable dough. (Voila! No more crumbles!) The chopped nuts will become finely ground in the process. Continue with the recipe as directed. I've made Scottish shortbread this way many times. It has always turned out beautifully, so I'm confident that the Russian tea cakes will too. I had qualms about my powdered sugar, which was lumpy, but--as I had hoped--the processor powdered it perfectly.. ..

  • Kathleen
    Oct 27, 2020

    My Mother taught me to roll the dough into one inch in diameter rolls, wrap each in wax paper and then refrigerate. Then we took them out of the frig one roll at a time and cut them into one inch chunks before rolling in to balls. This made for much more uniform sizes and much cooler dough going in the oven. Her original recipe called for 1lb of butter and 1lb of flour.

  • Tina
    Dec 25, 2019

    This was the best recipe ever! My first time manning these were definitely a hit! Thank you

    Aug 13, 2019

    I increase the chopped pecans and you must chill the dough before baking them.

  • dnreckless
    Dec 23, 2018

    I've made these for many years and haven't had any problems. The butter holds them together . 5 stars

  • lamonli
    Dec 21, 2018

    This recipe has nothing in it to bind the dry ingredients with. I now have a big bowls of crumbs. Any suggestions on what to add that might save me? Egg?

  • JShocinski
    Jan 3, 2016

    Love this recipe, super easy to make and taste great. I made them with pecans and my husband liked them so much I've made them 3 times this holiday season. They're the perfect size to pop in your mouth when you're craving a quick sweet treat. I'll be making these every year.

  • JCA48
    Dec 6, 2014

    I'm sorry but these were so dry and no flavor. Maybe adding more than 1tsp of vanilla or using almond abstract instead would boost the flavor? Any ideas?

  • yuehching
    Dec 29, 2013

    I made these cookies for Christmas last year. Immediately they became my family favorite Christmas cookies. This year I made two batches, one with walnuts, the other with pecans and also increased the nuts amount to 1 cup each. Both turned out excellent! It?s a keeper.