Russian Tea Cookies

These have been a family favorite for a really long time.  When my sister and I were younger and still lived at home, we would take a day or two and bake up all of our Christmas cookies and candies with our mom.  Well, my dad – who would normally make himself scarce while we carried on in the kitchen – would suddenly appear when these cookies started coming out of the oven.  And he would continue to pace back and forth through the kitchen quite often for the rest of the day while these cookies sat out.  He probably ate close to an entire batch in one day!  They are still a favorite of his today.

I would strongly recommend making at least 2 batches of these.  They disappear quickly.  They are just so darn easy to pop in your mouth!  Just don’t inhale as you pop them in your mouth – nobody likes a coughing fit from the dry powdered sugar coating your throat.   You’ve been warned and you’re welcome.

Russian Tea Cookies {aka: Powdered Sugar Balls}

{Source:  my mom given to her by my grandma}


1 cup of butter {soft, but still cool}

1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for rolling

2 or 2-1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cups chopped nuts {I usually use walnuts, but pecans are fine}


Mix everything together by hand, starting with just 2 cups of flour.  You can add the additional 1/4 cup if you need it.  Once mixed, roll {squeeze} into 1″ balls.  Will be crumbly.  Place on cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 5-6 minutes or until bottoms are just lightly golden brown.

While still slightly warm, roll in powdered sugar {about 1/2 cup}.


These sound pretty easy, but the dough is a little finicky.  The dough will seem REALLY crumbly, but just keep rolling and squeezing them into shapes that resemble balls.  Mine are never perfect. 

Also, if your butter is too warm to start with – it may make the balls puddle in the oven.  What I have done to prevent this is place the cookie sheets of balls in the fridge for just a minute or two before they go into the oven.  It just firms them up enough to hold together and not melt. 

One other thing that helps is being careful to evenly distribute the butter through the dough – you don’t want any large pieces of butter because it will just melt in the oven and ruin the shape of the cookies.  It should just look mealy overall.

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