Friday, 20 November 2015

Russian Teacakes / Pecan Shortbread Cookies

It's time to start buying some jars. What jars? The ones you're going to fill with delicious treats for your kids' teachers end-of-year gifts, of course... you being the craftsy baker that you are!  ;o)

I recently bought some perfect gift jars (c/o the local Mr P). And then went back and bought more, because I wanted  needed to keep the first lot for myself. I'm sure I'll need them for something. Sometime.

Anywaaay... here's an idea for jar-fillers:
These  cookies are known as Russian Teacakes, or Mexican Wedding Cakes, or Snowballs.
None of which really work to describe these delicious, melt in your mouth, nutty, shortbready biscuits covered in mounds of icing sugar (hence the term snowball!).
They're very easy to make - especially if you use a food processor to chop the nuts. In fact, use a food processor for the whole recipe!
Here's how...

Russian Tea Cakes/ Pecan Cookies

180g pecan nuts
250g butter, at room temperature (that's important)
320g cake flour, sifted
70g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs vanilla extract

Plus extra icing sugar for dusting.


Chop the pecan nuts into small pieces using a food processor. Remove one third of the nuts*, and continue to process the rest until finely ground and almost paste-like.
Add in the butter, flour, 70g of icing sugar, salt and vanilla. Pulse until mixed. Then mix in the remaining finely chopped nuts* (doing this gives the cookies some extra pecan-nutty texture; if you have too many large chunks of nuts, the cookies tend to break apart easily.)

Use a teaspoon to measure out mounds of dough. Roll into balls and place on a lined baking tray.
Bake at 180'C for approx 15-18min, until they are just a touch golden - it's better to under-bake rather than over-bake these cookies.
Sift the extra icing sugar over them as soon as they come out of the oven; and again once they've cooled down.
Store in an airtight container -  a pretty jar will do :o)

Happy baking!


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