Russian Tea Cakes

russian tea cakes
Photo: Bryan Gardner
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
4 dozen

Rolling these classic Christmas cookies in powdered sugar once while they're still warm and again when they're completely cooled ensures their snowball-like appearance.


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), room temperature

  • 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar, divided

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons almond liqueur, such as amaretto


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in the upper and lower third positions.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with with paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and almond liqueur until fully combined. Add flour mixture; beat until combined.

  4. Using 1 rounded teaspoon of dough per cookie, roll into balls with the palms of your hands; place onto two parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake, rotating halfway through, until cookies are set and just turning golden around the edges, about 16 minutes.

  5. Remove from oven and let cookies cool slightly on baking sheets, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add remaining 1 cup sugar to a medium bowl. When cool enough to handle, roll a few cookies at a time in the bowl of sugar to coat. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Roll cookies in sugar again until thoroughly coated. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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