my momma’s russian teacakes {mexican wedding cakes}

My mom is a wonderful cook {although she would never admit it}.  She would say she lacks creativity and only follows recipes; she would not give herself the credit she deserves.  She makes the most perfectly flaky pie crusts, the most incredibly light and fluffy biscuits, and the best fried rice I have ever tasted {without a recipe}.  She made a homemade meal for our family every evening {while maintaining a full-time career}, and made us sit down and eat it together.  She involved my sister and me, taught us techniques and gave us confidence in the kitchen.  She made us fall in love with food and cooking.

I can’t think of these cookies without thinking of my mom.  She made them every Christmas, included them in countless care packages sent to me since my freshman year in college, and now that I live close to her and my dad, she brings a batch over whenever she comes to visit.  These cookies are magical – they are meltingly sweet from the mixture of butter and confectioners sugar, but the sweetness is tempered with just the right amount of salt and nutty crunchiness.  They are my favorite cookies – for me, they far surpass even the best chocolate chip cookie – but they never seem to taste quite as good as when she makes them.

Recipe continued after the jump…

Recipe

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

  • 1 c. {2 sticks} unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. finely chopped nuts {I use almonds but my mom uses pecans}

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla thoroughly.  Blend flour and salt and stir into butter mixture.  Mix in nuts.  Chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Roll into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes.  While still warm, roll cookies in extra confectioners sugar.  Cool completely.  Roll cookies in confectioners sugar again.

This recipe comes from my mom’s Betty Crocker Cook Book, First Edition, from 1961.  This was the first cookbook I remember pouring over – I loved the pictures that seemed from a completely different era.  Some of my favorite meals that I still get nostalgic for are from this cookbook, including the beef stragonoff, the apple crisp, and of course, these cookies.

Thank you for reading!

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11 Responses to my momma’s russian teacakes {mexican wedding cakes}

  1. jkgehman@comcast.net says:

    Dear Bimbi,

    You had so many sweet comments about me, it almost made me cry.  I’m glad these cookies bring back fond memories of your childhood. 

    Love,

    Momma

  2. Matt says:

    These cookies are dangerously good – I crave them constantly! Huge thanks to your Mom for inspiring your utter brilliance in the kitchen – good job Judy!
    So amazed and proud of you constantly.
    Love,
    The luckiest man alive!

  3. Claire D says:

    Love Russian Tea Cakes – make em every holiday! What a sweet post!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Based on your blog, I think we must make a lot of the same baked goods! There are certain ones that remind me of my childhood and my family…I love how cooking brings back those special memories.

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  5. bp says:

    I gasped when I got to the bottom of this… I learned how to bake in high school using my mom’s exact same cookbook! I really hope she still has it in her kitchen!
    Such a nice tribute to your mom& happy family memories!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      LOL! That is hilarious! I guess our moms must have come of age at the same time! How funny. When I think of cooking in my childhood, that particular cookbook stands out the most. To this day, my mom still relies on that cookbook more than any other…I love it! It makes me so nostalgic! xoxo

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