Chef John's Russian Tea Cakes

Chef John's Russian Tea Cakes

Chef John

"As the old joke goes, these Russian tea cakes might not be Russian, but at least they're not cakes. No one knows exactly how these came to be known as Russian tea cakes but, nevertheless, they are quite delicious."
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Ingredients

30 m servings 286 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 14 servings

Nutrition

  • Calories:
  • 286 kcal
  • 14%
  • Fat:
  • 18.8 g
  • 29%
  • Carbs:
  • 27.2g
  • 9%
  • Protein:
  • 3.4 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 35 mg
  • 12%
  • Sodium:
  • 23 mg
  • < 1%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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Directions

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  • Prep

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Arrange rack in center position of oven.
  2. Place butter, 1/3 cup packed powdered sugar, walnuts, salt, and vanilla in a bowl. Top with the flour. Mix with your clean hands until the dough starts to clump up. Keep mixing by hand until all the flour and clumps of butter are evenly mixed into the dough and it can be easily formed into balls.
  3. Scoop out dough and roll by hand into uniformly round balls, just slightly larger than 1 inch. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until lightly golden, 15 to 25 minutes depending on the size of the cookies.
  5. Let cool exactly 5 minutes then roll in a shallow bowl full of confectioners' sugar. Let cookies completely and toss them again in the confectioners' sugar.

Footnotes

  • Cook's Notes:
  • The only tricky thing here is the baking time, since there are so many variables: the size of the dough balls, whether you use a silicone mat or parchment, how light or dark the sheet pan is, etc. These factors can all affect the final time significantly.
  • I think this cookie tends to get under-cooked, and some recipes call for as little as 12 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). I like these fairly golden, so I get that nice brown-butter flavor, and that took me about 20 minutes or so, which is why I gave such a wide range. Start checking at 15 minutes, and proceed from there.
  • Tip
  • Parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan.

Reviews

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These cookies are the best! I make them every year at Christmas. They are so tender and melt in your mouth. Chef John has done it again. I'm not sure why I only make these during the holidays. T...

Instead of waiting for Christmas season to come, I took upon myself to bake these goodies in Spring time and shared them with friends. This one is a good recipe and a holiday gift idea. Thanks, ...

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