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How to Make Russian Tea Cakes

Learn how to make Russian tea cakes from pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi, I'm Katie Roseness and today I'm going to show you how to make Russian Teacakes, also sometimes called Mexican Wedding Cookies, also called a hundred different names. But here is one way of making that classic cookie with a net based dough.

So I'm starting with one stick of softened butter. I just left my butter at room temperature about half an hour until it's soft to the touch. And the whole thing is going right in my mixer along with 1/4 cup of confectioner's sugar, or powdered sugar. And what that's going to do is make even a more tender cookie than granulated sugar. That corn starch really fluffs things up and makes it nice and pliable.

So I'm just going to cream those two together. Beautiful. And add the rest of my ingredients. So I have a little bit of cinnamon, just for some really nice spicy flavor. A touch of salt. Whenever you're using something like nuts in a recipe, it's important to balance it out with salt.

I have finely ground pecans. You can also use walnuts, hazelnuts, any nut that you like is perfect for this. I'll throw that right in.

A cup of all purpose flour. And last but not least, I love to add vanilla bean paste. I get all these really great bits of vanilla beans in the vanilla bean paste that I just don't get in the vanilla extract. And that's going right in. A little bit goes a long way.

And I'm just going to beat this together until it's nice and smooth. And again, the way that you make powdered sugar is by finely grinding sugar down until it's almost like flour, and they add in just a touch of corn starch. And what that corn starch does in our cookie is make a really tender, flaky cookie.

Okay, so my dough is ready to go. You can see it's really nice, soft dough. And I'm just going to take my paddle out and get all my extra right back into the bowl and I'm ready to work with it.

I like to use a scoop for this. I have a nice, small scoop and I have my cookie sheet ready to go, just lined with a piece of parchment paper and this way my cookies won't end up sticking to my cookie sheet.

But you can see my dough is really crumbly and ready to go. I'm just going to go in with my scoop and push down against the edge of the bowl and just pop out these cute little rounds.

Okay, so you can do a whole bunch of these. Just load up your cookie sheet. So you can see, this batter makes a lot of cookies. But I'm going to start with these. I'm going to bake these off at about 350 degrees until they're nice and golden brown.

And you can see they're just nice and golden right around the edge. And to finish these off, I'm going to dunk them in even more powdered sugar. But before I do that I'm just going to add a little bit of cinnamon. I've got my bowl of powdered sugar ready to go with a spoon in it so it's an easy way to just pop the cookies right in and out. And that cinnamon just gives it a little extra kind of holiday flare.

So one cookie at a time. Just kind of plop right in. We can go faster. We can do two at a time. And when you take them out you can see they're really cute. Almost like little snowballs. And if you want to when they're done, you can sift a little extra powdered sugar over the tops if they don't coat well enough.

And that's how you make Russian Tea Cakes.

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