Russian Tea Cakes

Many Eastern European countries have versions of this cookie, but this is the favorite of Yugoslavia-born Denise Hale, a great friend of Jeremiah’s, who commissions them for her ranch weekends. You can substitute hazelnuts or walnuts for the pecans or use a mixture of all three.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces pecans, toasted
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) soft sweet butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Put the pecans and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Finely grind the pecans and set them aside.

Put the butter and the remaining 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for 2 or 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla extract. Combine the flour and salt and stir into the butter mixture.

Add the reserved nuts.

Form the dough into ¾-inch balls. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the cookies on the pan, 2 inches apart.

Bake the tea cakes for about 20 minutes, until light brown. While they are still warm, sprinkle them with the powdered sugar.

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