December 10, 2011

Russian Tea Cakes

If I had to choose one cookie that epitomises Christmas, for me the Russian Tea Cake would be it, no competition. We have had them for both Thanksgiving and Christmas every single year as far back as I can remember. The sweet and delicate little cookie balls are loaded with nutty flavor and the double coating of powdered sugar just screams wintertime treats.

Yield: about 2 dozen 1" cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp gluten-free vanilla
1 tsp gluten-free almond extract
2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour mix
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts of your choice (I use pecans)

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter with confectioners' sugar on low speed until combined. Add vanilla and almond extracts and mix on low speed until combined, scraping sides of bowl if necessary. Stop mixer and add flour, xanthan gum, salt and nuts. Mix on low speed for about 2 minutes or until a ball forms. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. While the cookies are still warm, very carefully roll them in confectioners' sugar (because they are not quite set all the way when they are fresh from the oven they may crumble if care is not taken when rolling). Cool and roll in sugar a second time. Store at room temperature in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper. Enjoy!

More to come with Love!!

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