Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Russian Tea Cakes

I'll never forget the first time I had "Russian Tea Cakes" I'd also heard these called "Mexican Tea Cakes" although I'm certain there are differences. Unfortunately, in the South where Russians and Mexicans (until recently) were both in short supply, we didn't bother with real cultural distinctions.

These little cookies also remind me of the ubiquitous "Lady Fingers" of my youth and I'm sure you could tweak this to use for that as well. I loved Lady Fingers and there was a small bakery on Main Street in my hometown that made fabulous cookies and sweets. You'd go in and your order would be placed in a tidy white box and tied up with string. Those were the days!

A few years ago a new bakery opened up on Main Street in my hometown and they have continued the tradition of excellent sweet treats. Unfortunately, in today's world where a cake from Wal-Mart is $9.00 and a couple dozen cookies are $1.99 most people aren't willing to pay for the quality of a real bakery. So, their selection is limited and they concentrate on higher end catering for the most part.

Still, there's nothing nicer than a sugary tea cake (or lady finger) and a nice cup of hot tea with lemon on a cool Fall day.

Now, if only I could get a cool Fall day here in the desert!

Russian Tea Cakes


1 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour (do NOT substitute self-rising!)
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I use cashews)
1/4 tsp. salt
Powdered Sugar to coat cookies


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla together. Stir in flour, nuts, and salt until dough holds together. Shape into 1-inch balls and place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set (but not brown) - about 10-12 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while warm and allow to cool. Once cool, roll in powdered sugar again. Store in airtight container. Makes about 4 dozen.

Buck's special touch: If you want to make yours a bit distinctive, add about 1/8 tsp. lemon extract to the batter!

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