Monday, December 10, 2012

Russian Tea Cakes & New York Snowballs & Deer Poop

For the Russian Tea Cakes pictured, I used pecans (traditional). I call the chocolate version NY Snowballs because of their less than pristine appearance with chocolate peeking out of the powdered sugar dusting. If you really have a sense of humor (and want to delight children), roll the chocolate version in sweet ground chocolate such as Ghirardelli’s and call them Deer Poop.

Russian Tea Cakes & New York Snowballs & Deer Poop
by Chiffonade

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups AP flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped peeled hazelnuts or pecans or almonds or walnuts, toasted
Powdered sugar for rolling cookies
For New York Snowballs:
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed, for 30 seconds. Beat in ½ cup powdered sugar, (cocoa powder if making NY Snowballs) and vanilla until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add the nuts and beat until just incorporated.

Preheat the oven to 325ยบ (Same for convection).

Form the dough into 1” balls. Space 1” apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment or silpat. Bake until just firm to the touch and the bottoms are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Roll in powdered sugar. Repeat powdered sugar roll once the cookies are completely cooled. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: About 54 Cookies

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