Monday, 23 January 2012

Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea Cakes by Charlotte

I recently discovered Russian Tea Cakes at Rosalind's Kitchen and I now seem to be slightly addicted...

An interesting take on a very English recipe - shortbread. These sweet icing sugar coated bombs are referred to as Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cakes. It appears that although 'tea cake' comes from the British tradition of enjoying baked goods served with afternoon tea, these particular treats were served with tea in Russia in the 18th century and later became part of wedding ceremonies in the US and Mexico.

The tea cakes consist of a simple shortbread recipe of butter, sugar and flour, mixed with finely chopped nuts, which are rolled in icing sugar once baked. Sampling has resulted in much joy and excitement as well as icing sugar all over the face, hands and clothes of the sampler - not a problem as everyone else tasting will also be coated a fine layer of the white stuff.

225g butter
60g icing sugar
half a vanilla pod
250g plain flour
75g walnuts or pistachios, very finely chopped

- Mix together the butter and sugar, then add in the vanilla.
- Stir in the flour and a pinch of salt, then add in the nuts and mix well.
- Put the dough in the fridge to cool, I left mine for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and put them on a baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes so that they are firm but not brown.
- Let the cooked tea cakes cool slightly and then roll them in icing sugar while they are still warm. When they are completely cool roll them in more icing sugar.

Enjoy with a good coffee.


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