Christmas, Food

Russian Tea Cakes

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When I was a kid my mom called these delightful little cookies snowballs. It’s a cute name that perfectly describes these bite sized treats. Years later I was given this recipe for Russian tea cakes, and I’ve been making them ever since.

These are a favorite of my family at Christmas time. With a few simple ingredients you’ve got a wonderful buttery, crunchy cookie. They look so festive, like snow. A perfect holiday goody.

Walnuts add a delectable crunch. I highly recommend toasting the walnuts. This will add another depth of flavor to the tea cakes. Savory nuts and sweet powdered sugar come together perfectly in Russian tea cakes. These marvelous cookies will make a lovely addition to your holiday desserts.

Happy Eating!

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 

 

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Russian Tea Cakes

 

Ingredients

1 cup softened butter

½ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ¼ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cupped chopped walnuts

2 cups of powdered sugar for rolling the cookies

 

To Toast Nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Toast until browned. Keep a close eye on them as nuts can burn easily.

 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment, or leave them ungreased.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl use a hand mixer to cream butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla thoroughly.
  4. Add the flour and salt. Mix until combined.
  5. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
  6. Cover and chill the dough for 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
  7. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. In a small bowl place the 2 cups of powdered sugar.
  10. While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar.
  11. Cool the cookies, and roll one more time in the powdered sugar.

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Notes

  • Pecans, and almonds can be used. 
  • Russian tea cakes can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Coat with powdered sugar before serving.

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Christmas

A Christmas Without Decorations

green pine tree with red fruit
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

My in-laws garage was packed floor to ceiling with our stuff. We moved into their house a few weeks before Christmas that year. They had generously offered for us to stay with them while Tom finished school. I stood there with my two young boys looking at the big pile of boxes that represented our life. Buried in that pile were all of our Christmas decorations. 

There would be no normal Christmas that year. I was sad. I love Christmas. I love the decorations. I love the lights. I love it all. I was looking for something that was familiar in all of the change. Anything that was secure was gone, except for my husband and kids. Christmas and all of the decorations had always brought me so much happiness. That year it was missing.

As much as I wanted to be surrounded with all of my favorite Christmas things, I couldn’t. It wasn’t even possible. I had to come to terms with where my life was at that moment in time. A choice had to be made. I could feel sorry for myself, or I could make the best of the situation. I chose my faith over my feelings.

We bought an inexpensive artificial tree. Dylan, my oldest son, and I made a red and green paper chain for garland. We made ornaments cut from construction paper and covered in glitter. Our very simple tree was beautifully decorated. The boys were happy, and a new memory was made. No, it wasn’t a fancy, perfect, from a magazine kind of tree. It was made with love and a little creativity.

Christmas came and went that year just like it does every year. Though it was not the holiday I had dreamed of, we were all together and that was what mattered the most. I held on to the fact that we would have a normal Christmas again one day. It took a couple of years, but it did happen.

Your Christmas may not look ideal this year. You may be grieving the loss of a loved one, or dealing with illness. Our entire world was turned upside down because of a virus, and nothing has been normal. We can still celebrate the birth of the Savior. He is worthy to celebrate.

Maybe you’ve just got a simple paper chain like I did for your tree. It’s still beautiful. You may have the best of every kind of Christmas decor. Your tree is Instagram worthy, yet you are hurting, or sad, or lonely. Jesus came to save us. He can comfort you in your pain. No matter where you are at in your life. If you call on Jesus He will answer.

The year I had no Christmas decorations God met me in my sadness. God lovingly showed me that He is still there no matter what. It’s not about the decorations. It’s all about Jesus Christ. 

Jesus came into this harsh world as a vulnerable baby. He was born in a feeding trough. Not ideal. Jesus was not born in a palace, or a hospital birthing suite. Jesus was born where animals eat. The King of Kings came to us in the most lowly, humble circumstances. No fancy decorations. Precious Jesus was a tiny baby among animals and dirt. 

The angels rejoiced over Jesus’ birth. 

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”   

Luke 2:13-14, NIV 

We can rejoice over Jesus’ birth too. No matter our circumstances. We can choose to focus on Jesus. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. Jesus is worth it.

Love you all,

Meghan