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!