Recipe: Russian tea cakes

  • Updated: December 13, 2012 - 10:39 AM

RUSSIAN TEA CAKES º

Makes about 4 dozen.

Note: Pecans are the traditional nut for this cookie in the continental United States, though any other nut could be substituted. From the 1963 "Betty Crocker's Cooky Book." A photo in the book shows a variation of these cookies rolled in sprinkles instead of powdered sugar, but somehow that just seems wrong.

• 1 c. (2 sticks) butter

• 1/2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for rolling

• 1 tsp. vanilla

• 21/4 c. flour

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 3/4 c. finely chopped nuts (see Note)

Directions

Mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla thoroughly. Stir flour and salt together, then blend into butter mixture. Mix in nuts. Chill dough.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet (cookies do not spread). Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until set but not brown.

While still warm, roll in powdered sugar. Cool and roll in powdered sugar again. Store in airtight container.

Nutrition information per cookie:

Calories 72 Fat 5 g Sodium 46 mg

Carbohydrates 6 g Saturated fat 3 g Calcium 3 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 10 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 other carb, 1 fat.

PECAN-DILL BUTTER

Makes 1/2 cup flavored butter.

Note: Use this atop walleye. This can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated. From "Come One, Come All: Easy Entertaining With Seasonal Menus," by Lee Svitak Dean.

• 1 (13/4-oz.) pkg. chopped pecans (about 1/2 cup)

• 8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, softened

• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1/8 c. minced fresh dill, or 2 tsp. dried dill weed

• 1 tbsp. finely chopped green onions or shallot

Directions

Toast pecans in a dry small saucepan over low heat until they have become fragrant, stirring occasionally so they don't burn. Set aside to cool.

Whip softened butter with electric mixer or by hand. Gradually add lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Stir in dill, green onions and toasted nuts.

The butter can be molded into a log shape before refrigerating it. First, cut a 6- to 8-inch sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper and plop the butter mixture onto the wrap. With a spatula or knife, shape the butter into a log, much like a stick of butter. Wrap the plastic or wax paper around butter, twist the ends securely, and refrigerate or freeze.

To serve (with fish being fried): Just before cooking the walleye, pull the butter out of the refrigerator and slice into 8 to 16 individual pieces. Add the butter to the top of the fish as it's being cooked on its second side, so it melts onto the fish.

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