A powdered sugar story:
My husband loves Russian tea cakes (aka Mexican wedding cookies). Several years ago, my new daughter-in-law, full of excitement and energy, decided to host a Christmas cookie baking day. This has since become an annual event, more on that in another post. She was very enthusiastic and as she organized the event, the participants were presented with several rules. The one I will discuss here is – Only Christmas Cookies Allowed. Since I usually make Russian tea cakes around Christmas time, my husband, looking forward to his annual allotment, was a bit concerned. Russian tea cakes….Mexican wedding cookies….they don’t sound very Christmas-y. What to do? I decided to cleverly rename them Snow Ball Cookies – the renaming worked (meaning they were allowed) and that is what they are now known as in my house (especially around Christmas). No one ever discusses the fact that under the powdery disguise of a snowball cookie lives a Russian tea cake. Ahhh…the things we do for love.
Here is the recipe for Almond Snow Ball Cookies
I mix my dough by hand. I do not use a mixer because the dough comes out too fine, which makes it harder to form it into balls.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar (plus more in a small bowl used for rolling)
- 2 tsp. almond extract
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
In a large mixing bowl – cream the butter and sugar, add the almond extract and cream together a little more. Add the flour and salt. Stir well. Make sure to scrape all the flour off the bottom of the bowl and incorporate it into the mixture.
Roll dough into balls (I usually get about 2 ½ dozen out of this batch). Place on parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for about 16-18 minutes. Gently check the bottom of a cookie to see if it is lightly brown. If it is then they are done.
Let them cool for a minute then gently toss them, one by one, in powdered sugar. Allow them to set for a few minutes – then toss again. Tip: after the first power sugar covering but before the second, put another batch of cookies in the oven.
Once they are completely cooled – store them in an air tight container or freeze them.
*you might as well make a double batch – they are that good.
What special cookies do you make for Christmas?