Is it Russian Teacakes or Christmas Snowball Cookies? I know them by both — love them both — but usually call them Russian Teacakes.
In any case, they are, for me, the quintessential Christmas cookie. It wouldn’t be the holidays without them. In fact, if I only made one Christmas cookie, it would be these. To me, it’s just Christmas, in the form of a beautiful, white, fluffy snowball.
The jingle of a sleigh ride in the snow, chestnuts roasting over an open fire, a snowman, and one true love. Then add Russian Teacakes on that sleigh ride, with my husband, as we drive by roasting chestnuts. That’s how “Christmasy” these snowball cookies are to me.
Growing up, my mom made them every year. Now… it’s the first I bake of dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies. And sometimes… again at the end. They go rather quickly at my house.
Russian teacakes is a rather simple cookie made with flour, sugar, butter, and nuts. I prefer almonds, but walnuts or pecans are equally delicious. I also add a splash of flavoring to this traditional recipe because, after all, isn’t everything better with vanilla?
Russian Teacakes or Christmas Snowballs is a rather simple cookie made with flour, sugar, butter, and nuts. I prefer almonds, but walnuts or pecans are equally delicious. I also add a splash of flavoring to this traditional recipe because, after all, isn’t everything better with vanilla?
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2–1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, finely ground
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- confectioners’ sugar for coating
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, finely chopped almonds (walnuts or pecans are good too), and salt and mix until the dough comes together.
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, form the dough into equal size balls. Place dough on prepared baking sheet, about an inch apart. Bake about 10-11 minutes, or until set but not brown.
Roll warm cookies in confectioners’ sugar and let cool on a cooling rack. If desired, roll once again in confectioners’ sugar after they’ve cooled.
Use your favorite nut in this recipe. I prefer finely ground almonds, but walnuts and pecans are delicious as well.