Russian Tea Cookies or Mexican Wedding Cookies

I adore these cookies. They look like perfect little snowballs and are fitting both at Christmas and all winter long! Just as there is debate as to the name and origin of these delicate confectioners’ sugar enveloped cookies, there is debate in my family as to which kind of nut my grandmother used in her recipe. One relative says that it must be walnuts because they don’t like pecans. My mom insists that my grandmother used pecans. I don’t remember either way, so I just use almonds. 

Russian Tea Cookies

Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. In a small food processor, process 1 tablespoon flour, and the sliced almonds, until finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the almonds by hand, as best you can. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and ¼ confectioners’ sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the almond extract and salt and beat until incorporated. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Stir in finely chopped almonds. 
  3. Using a small 2-teaspoon ice cream scoop, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets and roll into a ball. Bake about 14 minutes, until edges just turn brown. 
  4. Allow to cool 20 minutes, then roll cookies in the remaining ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar. 

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