Wednesday, December 23, 2015

50 Years of "Mom's Russian Tea Cookie Recipe" - with two gluten free options.

I don't remember a Christmas, that we didn't have these cookies to share and enjoy amongst family members and friends. 

In fact, we could hardly make them fast enough! 

The hint of vanilla and the sweetness from the powdered sugar nearly melt in your mouth, yet you still have the perfect amount of crunch from the nuts. 

I feel like everyone may already have this recipe, but if you don' really must try them! 

And if you are like will need to make a batch of gluten free as well.  See below.

Mom's Russian Tea  Cookie Recipe                         Makes 27 cookies
1 cup butter, softened  (non-dairy substitute like Earth Balance Buttery Sticks is optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts, walnuts or pecans. I use walnuts.
powdered sugar for rolling

Mix sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Sift, measure, then add flour and salt. Mix. 
Stir in chopped nuts.  Cover and chill for an hour or up to a day or two ahead. 

Preheat oven to 400. Make small balls from the dough and place on an ungreased baking sheet. 
Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  Bottom of cookies will be slightly golden. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes. No need to burn your fingers! Roll slightly warm cookies in powdered sugar. I roll them again when completely cooled. After rolling cookies in powdered sugar, I set them on paper towels to continue cooling. It's a little less messy to clean up.

Store in airtight containers or freeze and use as desired.

I hope you love this recipe as much as my family does!


There are two recipes for the gluten free option. I use the first recipe. Gluten free recipes are a bit more fragile, but still delicious.

Gluten Free Russian Tea Cookies       Makes about 40-45 cookies
1 cup butter, or non-dairy substitute like Earth Balance Butter Sticks. Softened.
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
7/8 cup brown or white rice flour, do not shake down or flour will pack.
7/8 cup garbanzo bean flour, do not shake down or pack.
2 tsp Xanthan gum
1 cup chopped nuts, I use walnuts
powered sugar for rolling

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add flours and Xanthan gum, mix well. Stir in nuts.
Chill dough for an hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325. Form dough into small 1" balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes.  Let sit a couple minutes then roll in powdered sugar.  Roll again when completely cooled.

Store in an air-tight container or freeze until ready to use.

This next version is from Connie Sarros, Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Dessert Cookbook.

*This option doesn't need chilled.

Gluten Free Pecan Tea Cookies                     Makes about 45 cookies
This recipe uses a premade gluten free flour mixture:
2 1/2 cups brown or white rice flour
1 cup potato starch flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup bean flour - I suggest garbanzo or chick-pea flour.
2 Tbsp Xanthan gum

This mixture makes 5 cups and can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week. For longer storage, freeze.

1 cup butter, softened. Or a non-dairy substitute like Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups gluten free flour mixture. Stir before measuring and do not shake down or flour will pack.
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325.
Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  Mix in flour mixture. Stir in nuts.
Form small 1" balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let sit a few minutes then roll in powdered sugar. Roll again when completely cooled.

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