Russian Christmas Tea Cakes

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Christmas, North American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 50 cookies
Calories: 87kcal
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen
Often prepared and eaten at Christmastime, Russian Christmas Tea Cakes are made from a mixture of nuts and coated twice in powdered sugar. 
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  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pecans, finely grated (see notes)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Save 2 cups of the confectioner's sugar.  Set it aside.  Add all of the other ingredients to a large mixing bowl.  With a hand-held mixer, mix the ingredients together until a cookie dough forms.  Depending just how warm your room temperature butter is, this might take a few minutes.  Just keep mixing; it will come together.
  • Scoop the dough using a small cookie scoop - about 1 heaping teaspoon.  Roll into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.  
  • Bake for exactly 12 minutes.
  • While the cookies are baking, sift the remaining two cups of confectioner's sugar into a shallow bowl with a rim.  
  • Once the cookies come out of the oven, it's important to work very fast.  If you tend to be more laid back in the kitchen, you might want to bake the cookies in batches so that you won't have to work so quickly.  Transfer 4 or 5 cookies at a time to the bowl with the confectioner's sugar.  Very carefully - they are hot! - roll them around in the sugar.  Once fully coated, transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  • After all the cookies have been coated, save the confectioner's sugar.  Allow the cookies to cool for 1 hour.  Then, re-coat the cookies a second time in the confectioner's sugar.
  • The cookies are now ready to eat.  If you are storing the cookies, lay them in a single layer in a container and top with a dusting of the leftover confectioner's sugar.  Be sure to sprinkle the sugar between each layer.  These cookies can be frozen.


Grate the pecans in your food processor before you measure out 3/4 cup.  Tap the measure cup on your counter top gently and top up with more grated pecans.


Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2.3% | Vitamin C: 0% | Calcium: 0.3% | Iron: 1.7%