The 12 Days of Cookies and Cocktails
These little Russian Tea Cake Cookies bring back childhood memories in just two bites. Also known as pecan snowballs, perfect round sugar coated cookies are perfect for your next cookie tray.
What is a Russian Tea Cake?
Russian tea cake cookies… I don’t think I knew such a thing even existed until I was an adult. My dad makes the best chocolate chip cookies ever. And his chocolate peanut butter ones are a must have. I recall rolling sugar cookies with him a few times as a child too… but these light melt in your mouth perfect little bites I discovered much later in life while baking with a friend. Her family made spritz cookies and pecan snowballs along with several other and there was no going back, my love of chocolate chip cookies always on top, but now a new cookie would occasionally sneak in and cause a craving or two.
Her family called them Pecan Snowballs. These cookies can masquerade under several local names. Variously referred to as Pecan Susans, Snowball Cookies, or even butterballs depending on your heritage. They are white, powdery, and delicious by any name.
Its weird how we can associate a taste to one person. Connecting it forever in flavor to that one person who you hold dear. My fathers cookies, my friends spritz, your grandmother’s pasta sauce… the list goes on and on. These aromas and flavors so deeply bonded to our memories that nothing, no matter how great, can ever replace that one bite. These may not be the same picture perfect recipes you see on he cover of magazines. Maybe mom buys extra large eggs to bake with, or Poppop cooks with margarine and not Unsalted butter. Whatever those simple nuances are, they make those recipes special. They embed them on your tongue and in your memory to recall for years to come.
That’s what makes our recipes special. Not with the trained skills, but with years of personal touched that make it your own.
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- 16 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth - about 3 minutes.
- Add the flour over low speed. Scrape down the sides and fold in the pecans.
- Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and let set in fridge until cool about 1 hour.
- Make sure your oven racks are at the top middle slot and bottom middle slot. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Scoop out and roll 1" balls of dough. Arrange them 1 1/2" apart on baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges begin to turn golden, rotating pans halfway through bake time.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets.
- Place confectioners' sugar in a bowl.
- Roll each cookie in confectioners' sugar before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
- When cool, roll each cookie again in the confectioners' sugar.
- Serve and enjoy simplicity.
Cook's Illustrated Holiday Cookies
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 195Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g