Cookies and Candies/ Recipes

Russian Tea Cakes

Tender butter cookies filled with nuts and rolled in powdered sugar. Russian Tea Cakes are a holiday favorite on any cookie tray!


HAPPY NATIONAL COOKIE DAY!! That’s right…cookies have a holiday. It seems fitting that National Cookie Day would be in December, during the height of cookie baking season. My friends all know that I am a little bit of a Christmas fanatic. I love everything about this season….shopping, flocking, celebrating and especially, baking.

Yesterday, I attended one of my favorite new holiday traditions. My dear friend, Sue, held her 3rd annual cookie exchange. If you’ve never been to one, here is how it works. Each attendee selects a favorite cookie recipe, then bakes one dozen of that cookie for each person attending. In our case, there were 12 people, so I brought 11 dozen Russian Tea Cakes to share. Everyone brought their cookies packaged up in little bags or boxes to hand out to each person, so we each left with 11 dozen different kinds of cookies ! It was awesome!

We had a delicious soup and salad lunch, drank champagne punch, decorated gingerbread cookies and laughed so much! It truly is one of the festivities I now look forward to the most. Try it this holiday season with some of your friends. Those who love to bake will enjoy it and those who dread baking will be happy to only have to make one kind of cookie. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.


Russian Tea Cakes, also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes, have always been a family favorite. There are numerous recipes out there with varying amounts of butter, sugar and nuts. This recipe, from my mom’s clippings, comes from the original Betty Crocker cookbook. It calls for walnuts, but over the years I have made them with pecans as well. Both are equally tasty! And look at how pretty they are. They look like little snowballs!

russian tea cakes

Tender, buttery and filled with nuts, these Russian Tea Cakes will melt in your mouth. Watch them disappear from your cookie tray. Happy Baking!

Yields 3 dozen

Russian Tea Cakes
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  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • -additional powdered sugar


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In medium bowl, beat butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Add flour and salt; mix on low speed until combined.
  4. Stir in nuts.
  5. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls and place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking pan.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 9-11 minutes, until set, but not browned.
  7. Cool 3 minutes; roll warm cookies in powdered sugar.
  8. Place on cooling rack. When cooled completely, roll cookies in powdered sugar again.

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