Tag Archives: Russian tea cakes

Holiday Cookie Countdown: Russian Tea Cakes

Russian tea cakes are a delicious cookie that are commonly eaten at wedding and Christmas celebrations.

Many Russians celebrate Christmas on New Year’s Eve when Grandfather Frost arrives with his daughter, the Snow Maiden, to listen to children sing songs and recite poems before giving them presents and bags of candy.

Russian families decorate their homes with Christmas trees and pine leaves.

Orthodox Russians celebrate Christmas in early January. On Christmas Eve, they do not eat or drink until the first stars appear in the sky. Once the star is sighted – a reminder of the star that led the Magi to the Baby Jesus – the family eats a meatless dinner together, called the “Holy Supper”. The meal typically includes 12 dishes, which represent the 12 Apostles.

After dinner, the family does not wash the dishes right away (good idea!). Instead, they open presents and prepare to go to mass, which lasts several hours. Families usually do not return home until 2 or 3 in the morning.

It’s interesting to note that Russians had to adapt their religious traditions to New Year’s Eve after the Russian revolution in 1917 when religion was outlawed. So they moved their Christmas traditions to New Year’s Eve and re-characterized many of their customs in order to maintain their faith.

But since 1992, Russians have been free to celebrate as they wish. So, like them, you can enjoy some Russian tea cakes whenever you would like. Try this fantastic recipe from Cooking Clarified.

 

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Cookies 10: Russian Tea Cakes

Dainty and delicious, Russian tea cakes probably date to the 18th century and are similar to “jumbles,” a Middle Ages dessert.

Following the tradition of only serving rich foods on special occasions, Russian tea cakes are typically associated with Christmas and weddings.

Although Russians do not celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, their traditional celebrations are similar in many ways to those throughout the world.

Interestingly, Russian tea cakes are the same as Mexican Wedding Cake cookies. The name was supposedly changed during the Cold War.

This Russian tea cakes recipe is from AllRecipes.com, shared by THEAUNT708, with a shout-out to her Bubba (her grandmother from Lithuania).

Russian Tea Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Roll in confectioners’ sugar. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners’ sugar.

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