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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Food

Pumpkin Bars

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It’s that time of year. Pumpkin time. Pumpkin everything is everywhere. It wasn’t that long ago that the only big thing happening pumpkin-wise this time of year was the now infamous pumpkin spice latte. If you got your hands on one of those, then you felt pretty special. Now, pumpkin has taken over all aspects of food from yogurt to cereal, and even candy. We are pumpkin obsessed for some reason. For the non-pumpkin eaters, I’m sorry. For the rest of us, yay!!

In honor of all things pumpkin, I give you pumpkin bars. You’re welcome. I’ve been making these divine treats for close to twenty-six years. The bars are really more like a moist delicious cake. The pumpkin flavor is there, but it’s subtle, not overpowering. And, the piece de resistance, cream cheese frosting. The combo of the scrumptious cake and sweet icing make this dessert irresistible. It’s hard to stop at one. Pumpkin bars are addictive. You’ve been warned. 

I was blessed with this recipe from my boss all those years ago. She brought them into work one day and it was love at first bite. I got the recipe from her, which she was given by her mother many years before. And the circle of life continues as I pass this fantastic recipe on to you. Maybe you will share it with someone in your life too. Whenever I make these for potlucks or any event, they get devoured every single time. So be ready with the recipe, because you will be asked. 

Pumpkin bars are a nice alternative to pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, make both. Pumpkin fans everywhere will rejoice. I have to admit that I’ve made these in the summer. I know. It’s a bit bold, a bit daring, but so worth it. Try pumpkin bars in the off season too. They are just that good.

Happy Eating!

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

 

Pumpkin Bars

 

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.

 

4 eggs

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 15oz. can pumpkin

1 cup vegetable oil

pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream eggs and sugar.
  3. Add the vegetable oil, pumpkin, and pecans.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix thoroughly with a hand mixer.
  5. Pour into an un-greased 15x10x1 inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Cool completely before frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz. cream cheese softened

¼ cup butter softened 

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together with a hand mixer until smooth.

 

Notes:

Store at room temperature in a sealed container.

I never add the nuts, but I’m sure it’s delicious. 

Let the cream cheese and butter soften at room temperature before making the frosting.