Grandma’s Russian Tea Cakes Recipe

This is a recipe that was handed down from my Grandmother to my mom and is made every year at Christmas. It goes by many names, including Sandtarts, and these Russian Tea Cakes are a light buttery and nutty cookie that melts in your mouth.

There are so many wonderful Christmas Cookies out there, and this one is perfect for Christmas morning while sipping your coffee and opening presents.  This and of course, Cinnamon Cuts, are a necessity for your Christmas Morning indulgence platter.

Russian Tea Cakes by Dish Ditty

Russian Tea Cakes

I’m so thankful that my mom passed down these recipes to us, otherwise I would be searching the internet for the recipe. And looking around, there are LOTS of Russian Tea Cakes recipes out there, but all seem to have a lot more sugar than this recipe. I think that’s what makes these perfect.

I did, however, make some slight adjustments to my grandmother’s original recipe. The powdered sugar was in Tablespoons and is easier to measure in cups. It should be .3 cups, but .33 cups (1/3) is easier to measure. In addition, I added the salt, as I think that was missing from the typed version I had. But, if you want, try them both and see which you like better (or if you can even tell the difference).

So, here’s to my Grandma Bertha and my Mom. I miss you both and we will think of you when we serve these on Christmas this year and every year to come.

Enjoy!

Russian Tea Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1/3 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cup English Walnuts (chopped)
  • 1oz Rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

Note

Whisky, brandy or other alcohol may be used in place of the rum.

You can make the dough in advance and freeze in balls.  Thaw in the refrigerator before baking.

These can be frozen after they are cooked as well, but they are best if eaten within 1 week.

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2
In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour with the salt. Toss the walnuts in with the flour to coat. If you don't do this, the walnuts may clump together.
Step 3
In a mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar together until creamy. Add a couple spoons of the flour mixture, beat, and then add the vanilla and beat. Add another couple spoons of the flour mixture, beat, and then add the rum and beat. Finish with adding the flour and continue beating until flour is fully incorporated.
Step 4
Form into balls and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes (depends on the size of your balls) or until lightly browned.
Step 5
Remove from oven and immediately roll in powdered sugar while they are still warm. Let them cool completely.
Step 6
Once cooled, roll in powdered sugar again. Store in an air tight container unrefrigerated.

Russian Tea Cakes (Original)

Serves 20
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
By author Dish Ditty

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 5 tablespoons Powdered Sugar
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cup English Walnuts (chopped)
  • 1oz Rum

Directions

Step 1
Cream butter and sugar. Work flour, vanilla, rum and nuts into creamed mixture. Form into small balls or crescents and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Step 2
Roll tarts in powdered sugar while they are still warm, then roll again when they are cool.

Russian Tea Cakes by Dish Ditty

Russian Tea Cakes

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