Russian Tea Cakes/ Mexican Wedding Cookies

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Russian Tea Cakes/ Mexican Wedding Cookies

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1⁄2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1⁄2 - 2 c ground walnuts divided
2 c unbleached AP flour OR 2 c minus 1 T Whole Wheat PASTRY flour OR 1 c AP flour AND 1 c Whole Wheat PASTRY flour
3⁄4 c sifted icing sugar divided
1 t vanilla
1 t rum or Brandy OR 1 Rum flavoring diluted with water to make 1 T
1⁄2 t Salt optional
  • Medium




Russian tea cakes, also known as Mexican wedding cookies, have a delicate, fine, melt-in-your-mouth texture not unlike shortbread, and a rich, deeply nutty flavor.

How to Make Russian Tea Cakes:

  1. Grind half the walnuts to medium. Add to the flour.
  2. Grind the remaining walnuts to a finer grind. Remove all but 1⁄4 cup and add to the flour.
  3. Continue grinding the 1⁄4 cup of nuts until almost a powder. Reserve this for later.
  4. Cream the butter with 1⁄2 cup of icing sugar, vanilla and rum.
  5. Mix the flour (and optional salt) with the ground nuts until evenly distributed and add to the butter mixture.
  6. Continue mixing until it comes together and is not crumbly.
  7. Using a tablespoon, form into about 3⁄4 – 1 inch balls.
  8. Put the balls about 1 inch apart on a parchment paper covered sheet pan.
  9. Bake in the oven preheated to 325°F for 17 to 20 minutes. The balls should be very lightly browned. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before first rolling.
  10. Mix together 1⁄4 cup of icing sugar with the very finely ground nuts and sprinkle the mixture on a flat plate or pan. Roll the still slightly warm balls until completely coated and set aside to cool completely. Reroll a second time after they have cooled.
  11. Add a little more icing sugar if needed. Store in a airtight tin. Any remaining sugar and nut powder can be added to the tin.

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