Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Fill In the Blank" Tea Cakes

The cookie by many names -- is the little nutty ball of shortbread that's baked and then rolled in powdered sugar twice.

 It seems that every country makes their version of this cookie for among it's many names are:

Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, Italian Butternut, Viennese Sugar Ball and Swedish Tea Cakes.  

But they also go by other names as well:

Southern Pecan Butterball, Snowdrop, Sand Tart, Snowball, Pecan Dreamies, Nut Balls and Butterballs.

We call them with Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes  and we've been making them for years and years.    My mother made them sometimes when the "girls" came for bridge and always at Christmas.

I love these little bites covered with powdered sugar -- some of which almost always spills on your front (always if you're wearing black).

I must admit that the last few years I've not made these little cookies.    It was time, I decided, to make them once again.

My recipe is my mother's recipe from

The Betty Crocker Cookbook.

It's a simple recipe and they call them Russian Tea Cakes.

They go together quickly and have very few ingredients.     The only hard thing is to remember to set out the butter the night before.

Rolled into balls ("Betty" recommends 1 inch balls -- I think my inch is more like two!) and baked in a hot oven.     Once out . . .

You roll them in powdered sugar and leave them to cool . . .

Then you roll them a second time in powdered sugar and either put on a cooky tray to enjoy immediately or tuck away for future teas.  

One of my Christmas tins -- filled with the Russian Tea Cakes -- to be served for whenever we have guests for tea.

Covered and placed in the larder -- they will be enjoyed  in these pre-Christmas days.

I must confess that I had forgotten about these delicious cookies that I often made at Christmas.     Daughter Sarah made some yesterday for a cookie exchange today.    It inspired me to make my own batch today!


Anonymous said...

I've been doing some Christmas baking this week too! I pop it right in the freezer...that's the safest place for now!! ;0) Thanks for stopping by Take Six, Martha!

Toni said...

This is my favorite cookie to eat and the least favorite to make! There is so little liquid in them that I have a hard time mixing them. Thanks for visiting my blog, going to poke around yours some more. :)

Unknown said...

I will be baking next week, I might add these to my list!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

These are my favorite cookies of all time! Perhaps I will make some too this's been years. Thanks for the inspiration.