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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pecan Balls/Russian Teacakes/Mexican Wedding Cakes

I grew up calling these cookies pecan balls or Russian Teacakes. Sometimes we made them we pecans, other times we used walnuts. Whatever you call them or make them with, they're great!

Packaged, ready for shipping

These cookies are light, buttery (they should be with all the butter that's in them), and sweet. They are a great Christmas cookie because they're easy to make, look like little snowballs, and blend well with other foods. They're not over powering or too sweet. They're perfect in their simplicity.

The recipe I use is from my mom's old Betty Crocker cookbook. You can tell its a well loved recipe by the stains and spatters on the page. That's always a sign of a good recipe: a well worn page. When I moved out I scanned the page to have a copy on my computer so I can still see the stains, but I don't get to add any of my own.

Russian Teacakes:
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour (can use whole wheat flour if you want to)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c. finely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are best)
Powered sugar for rolling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cream the softened butter, sugar, and vanilla together. Add flour, salt, and nuts until the dough holds together.

Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart (they don't spread much). Bake until they're set, but not brown, about 10-12 minutes.

1 minute after baking, carefully roll each cookie in the powered sugar (they're delicate), then cool completely. Roll in the powered sugar again. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

In my house, I make double or triple batches of these because I give them as gifts. They're a hit!

The month of December: brought to you by BUTTER.

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