Cookies Russian style


January 22, 2003|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Isabel Sanchez of Merced, Calif., requested a recipe for Russian Tea Cakes like the ones she made in high school. "They had powdered sugar, butter, pecans, flour and more. I would roll them in small balls, freeze them and then bake. Then I'd roll them in powdered sugar."

Lorraine C. Pollard of Hunt Valley responded: "I have been making this cookie for more than 40 years. They are always delicious and never fail. I know this recipe was made the same way, long before I inherited it."

Recipe requests

Glenna Meyers of Glen Burnie wants a recipe she once enjoyed very much. "Several years ago I found a recipe for a hearty soup which had green beans and a variety of dried beans, tomato paste, red wine and two to three tablespoons of peanut butter. Several family members remember this soup but unfortunately all of us have managed to misplace it. Hopefully one of your readers may have it."

Betty Fleming of Bel Air wants help in finding a recipe for candied sweet potatoes that have a thick syrup. She writes that no matter what recipe she tries, the syrup is not right.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

Russian Tea Cake

Makes 18 to 24 cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

powdered sugar, for rolling

Mix butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add flour, salt and pecans and blend on low speed. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls in your hands.

Bake on a single ungreased baking sheet in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately, while hot, roll in powdered sugar (cookies will seem sticky, cool on a wire rack). When cooled, again roll in powdered sugar.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "These are classic, melt-in-the-mouth buttery cookies. Since there is no leavening, the resulting cookie is the exact shape and size as what you rolled, so make your balls the size you want the cookies to be.

"Finely chopped walnuts could be substituted for pecans [as could hazelnuts, for a totally different flavor]. Bake just until they begin to color -- you want the interior of the cookie to be fully cooked, but you don't want the exterior to get crispy."

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