February 27, 2011

Russian Tea Cakes

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

My sister in law makes the best Russian tea cakes, hands down, Allahumma barak feeha. In fact, I don't think I ever knew what one was until I got married and heard about these famous cookies of hers. She has it down to a science, knowing just when to remove these delicate little balls of yumminess from the oven (before they start getting any color, by the way). Alhamdulillah, I can say from first hand experience hers are amazing but its been so long since I've had them from her hands and well, there's only so long a person can wait before their next Russian tea cake!

So I attempted to make them; I say "attempted" because in my mind they're just not as good as hers but even at their "worst", these are so delicious!  So light and crumbly with an unmistakeably almond flavor (some version called for walnuts, I went with the almond version as that's what I had more of). And with the seemingly never ending winter storms all around the country, why not bake something to match that wintery landscape outside?

(In case you're wondering, these aren't cakes at all but are little round cookies and also go by the name Mexican wedding cookies)

Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used almond extract instead)
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds
powder sugar for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 400 degress

2. Beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy, about 3 minutes on medium speed.

3. Carefully fold in flour and salt, being careful not to overmix.

4. Stir in nuts. Rolls into 1" balls and arrange on baking sheet 2 inches apart for 8 - 9 minutes. Keep a careful eye on them, do not let them brown at all! Remove from oven and roll in powder sugar while still warm. Set aside to cool and roll again for a final coating.


  1. mashallah look yummy! i could probably gobble up 10 at once!

    where do u get almond extract without the alcohol? i cant seem to find one yet

  2. The one I have was given to me by someone who bought it from an all natural/health foods type of store. I've never found one again like it and use it VERY sparingly, lol.

  3. sister, I would like to make some tonight but I don't have any shortening, can I substitute it?

  4. Ah, I had meant to post that under the raspberry almond shortbread recipe D:


Tell me what you think! As always, feedback and reviews are appreciated...happy cooking!