Russian Tea Cakes {7 Days of Festive Holiday Treats} and A $25 King Arthur Flour Giveaway

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DSC_6636(small)It’s the last day of my 7 Days of Festive Holiday Treats event, and for my final recipe I wanted to share something from my childhood.

My mom has made these cookies for as long as I can remember. Which, oddly enough, has nothing to do with the fact that my family is Russian on my dad’s side and “Russian” is in the title of these cookies (and note that I have no idea whether these cookies are authentically Russian or not!).

My mom usually refers to them as Butterballs anyway.

7daysoffestiveholidaytreatsI like to think of them as a sweeter version of shortbread cookies, as a wink and a nudge to my mom’s Scottish roots. (They really are very much like shortbread, with the addition of walnuts and being rolled in powdered sugar.)

You might know them as Mexican Wedding Cakes or Snowball Cookies. Any other names out there for these little treats? I know I’m probably forgetting a few.

My mom has always made the recipe for Russian Tea Cakes from the 1981 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook. In my post on Candied Grapefruit Peel, I talk much more about this wonderful cookbook, and why it has always been a family favorite. These cookies are wonderful; rich and buttery, and so pretty coated in powdered sugar. If you enjoy shortbread, I think you’ll really enjoy these.

DSC_6641(small)And just in case you missed a post, here my first six recipes for this event:

Dark Chocolate Coated Cranberry Cake Bites

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Whoopie Pies {vegan; grain-free; naturally-sweetened}

Coconut-Vanilla “Honey” Syrup {vegan}

Cranberry Flax Cookies {naturally-sweetened}

Nutty Biscotti

Gingersnap + White Chocolate Truffles

Scroll down for info on how to enter the giveaway!


Russian Tea Cakes
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2½ to 3 dozen cookies
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Mix together the butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, nuts, and salt until the dough holds together when squeezed. Shape the dough into 1-tablespoon-sized balls. Place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake until set but not brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet and cool slightly on a wire rack.
  4. Roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar. Cool on a wire rack and then roll in powdered sugar again.
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe adapted slightly from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, New and Revised Edition, 1981; Betty Crocker's recipe can be found here.

giveawayKing Arthur Flour is very kindly giving away a $25 gift certificate to one lucky winner for their online shop, where they have just about every baking ingredient that you can imagine!

You do not need to have a blog to enter this giveaway! To participate, you can do any of the following (please leave a separate comment for each so I can count them as separate entries):

  1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite festive recipe – it could be anything from brunch to dessert, or anything in between!
  2. Like King Arthur Flour on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you did.
  3. Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you did.
  4. Share this giveaway on Twitter and leave a comment here.

This giveaway ends Friday, December 21, 2012 at 5AM EST; after that the winner will be randomly selected and notified by email.  Good luck to all!

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  1. Jeanne Weeks says

    I love the Russian tea cakes. One of many things I am looking forward to this season. I also loved the EVENT that went along with the cookie baking. A joyous occasion filled with laughter, fun, flower and love.
    Although I rarely post on your site Faith, I enjoy it regularly. The butterballs brought back such a nice memory that I had to comment. Thank you. :*} Jeanne

  2. says

    G’day Faith! I have very fond memories of these cookies from childhood, true!
    WISH I could come through the screen and try one of these right now too!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of Helene’s Christmas Cookie Collection 2013

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