Cheat Day [cheet dey] – noun: The one day of the week where diet minded fitness freaks throw caution to the wind and indulge only on the most tantalizing, ridiculously calorie dense foods known to man. Often associated with the term, “carb hangover,” which occurs the morning after a particularly fruitful cheat day. Synonyms: Free Day, Fun Day, Fat Day

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Part II: Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea Cakes are one of those Christmas treats from my childhood that I cant go without.  The recipe is not all the dissimilar from a shortbread (don't worry, I made that too.... two kinds) and they had that simple, sweet buttery taste that just makes you think of Christmas when you eat them.  They are also called Mexican Wedding Cakes or Butterballs (thank you, Wikipedia) and this is the recipe that has always served me well.

The fact that I've been making these since before I owned a stand mixer of course didn't prevent me from screwing up and having to make them again.  That happened several times this season (like the Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake where the beautiful, expensive cheesecake I made ended up in a pile on the counter.  I drop things...)  I apparently let my beautiful walnuts that my wonderful friend got for me fresh from her family's farm to spoil without noticing.  Fabulous.  Well of course I didn't taste the walnuts or the batter before the entire recipe was made and something smelled like death.  Even my husband wouldn't eat them.  So I used pecans because they are better anyway and I had those in the pantry- not spoiled.

Russian Tea Cakes
Recipe barely adapted from:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons confectioner' sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons sugar and flour. Stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped pecans. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

  • Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners' sugar. 

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