Wednesday, December 21, 2016

walnut + cardamom tea cakes

Christmas and cookies go together like Easter and eggs. It's just not Christmas without cookies. Certain cookies though, ones that you don't make any other time of the year. This year I recreated a family favorite, Russian tea cakes. Or Mexican wedding balls, or snowballs, or whatever you call these little melt in your mouth morsels. My mom used to make these at Christmas, usually for our annual party, and my brother and I would roll them in powdered sugar, hot out of the oven, while standing on our little stools at the kitchen counter and marveling at the buildup of melted sugar accumulating on our finger tips.

I've taken a pretty generic Russian tea cake recipe, veganized it,  added cardamom, and upped the nuts! Yum! They turned out perfect. The only down side of making these cookies is you just might end up ruining your dinner appetite because they are sooo addicting.

walnut + cardamom tea cakes
  • 1 cup earth balance, softened (or another brand of vegan butter)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • more powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Mix together the butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. I don't have an electric mixer, which is recommended for tasks like these, but mine turned out just fine so just mix with a spatula if you don't have one either. Add the vanilla, cardamom, and salt. Fold in the flour. When just combined add the nuts and fold until completely combined. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the cookies and then roll them into little tablespoon sized balls. Place on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes.

After just a minute of being out of the oven, while they are still hot, roll them in powdered sugar and then set aside to cool further. The sugar will melt as it coats the cookies so if you want them powdery on the outside do another roll through the sugar after they are completely cooled. These have only been rolled once.

These cookies will melt in your mouth, cover you in powdered sugar, and make you smile, just as a Christmas cookie should.  Enjoy!

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