Russian Teacakes

Whether you call them Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Teacakes, they’re all the same delicate nut-based cookie!

I love the delicate buttery flavor of these cookies.  I don’t recall Mom ever making them but, my mother-in-law baked them every Christmas without fail and so do I.  I’ve made them with walnuts in place of pecans for a little different flavor.

This recipe comes from my well-used 1979 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.  I have made so many notes in this poor cookbook over the years that it is a little pathetic looking now.  I have a huge cookbook collection and when Bill asked what I would like for Christmas, naturally I said, “A cookbook!”  He just shakes his head and doesn’t get it!  I might add that not a one of my other cookbooks is in the horrible condition that this cookbook is in, thank goodness!

Do you make notes in your cookbooks or are they nice and neat?

Russian Tea Cakes:

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 400ºF.
Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds together.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly on wire rack.
Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again.
Makes 4 dozen cookies


Be sure to enter my CSN Giveaway for a $35 gift certificate that I posted on December 17th!

Also, check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and cookbook giveaway!


  1. Hey that is my cookbook. I wonder whose looks the most used, yours or mine. Also have my freshman cookbook from 1941. Ha you can't top that one.
    Dorothy in Kansas

  2. Yeah these are some of the best cookies ever!

    Unfortunately I don't write notes in my cookbooks but I do end up getting melted chocolate or flour in them. ;)

  3. Oh Pam, thanks for this recipe.. My 11 year old grandson is staying with us , as "summer holidays" already started here, So this afternoon I'll get him into the kitchen to help me cook these beauties.

    As for my cooking books,I must say they're full of "post-its", but not as much "comments" as you have in yours, which make them so special. And my hubbie still doesn't get it either, I'll just letting him decide my Xmas present...

    The best for you and your family

  4. Que apetecibles se ven estas galletitas.


  5. All the notes and stains are what make a cookbook really special. I love my books that have handwritten notes from my mom.

    I think this is my favorite Christmas cook.

    Happy holidays.

  6. I call them delicious!

    One can never have too many cookbooks! I've been really "nice" so that Santa can bring me a new one this year.

    And, yes, I do mark up my cookbooks with dates served, reactions, changes, etc. Sort of like a cooking memoir.

    Happy holidays!


  7. Lovely and yummy cookies.Happy holidays.

  8. lovely cookie and picture pam it was nice to meet you this year may you have the best year to come every Have a great holiday~

  9. These are some of my favorite cookies of the holiday season. They are so addictive! As for cookbooks? I tend to keep mine pretty note-free, but I loved seeing all the notes in yours. It is well-loved! Thank you for sharing with me. I hope your upcoming week is full of joy, laughter and good friends

  10. Those are my ALL Time favorite cookies! I've never made them...too afraid I'd eat the entire plate:) I make a few notes in my cookbooks, but not as many as you:)

  11. I cheated this morning, and stopped on the way home from church at my favorite Chicago bakery, called BAKE. She makes huge russian teacakes.

    I love the look of a well marked up cookbook. I always write in mine.

    Merry Christmas.


  12. I loved your cookbook! I make annotations as well. Often lots of them.
    I adore these cookies and am going to try your recipe for Friday and Saturday.
    Joyeux Noël!

  13. My high school home ec cookbook was Better Homes and Gardens and it has yellowed and pages are torn because it has been a long, long time. I checked, out of curiosity, and these cookies are not in it. I just had one at a friend's house this week. They are delicious.

  14. That looks like a well used book and as an author I would love my books to end up like that! :-)

    the Russian tea cakes sounds yummy as!!!



  15. A well used and loved cookbook is a beautiful sight. Russian Tea Cakes are one of my favorites. My Mom always made them and now my oldest daughter carries that on :)

    Merry CHRISTmas!

  16. I love those cookies! But have to remember not to inhale the sugar or else :)

    Well used book! Mine are nice and neat, with an occasional post-it on a page!

  17. my mom made these for us, what a wonderful memory! they look so good, thanks for the recipe!

  18. I've heard of these before and I never knew what they were! They sound really yummy. I'll have to share this recipe with a friend, she asked about them months ago and I had no clue what she was talking about =P

  19. These cookies are so fabulous and I love when my grandmother used to make them. While my cookbooks are neat and clean, I do have little note papers tucked in them with my cooking notes for specific recipes. Now those can get quite messy!

  20. My Great Grandmom (Ocean Mom-mom we called her) ALWAYS made these at Christmas and Easter time! They're Russian Tea Cakes in our house! Thanks for sharing :)

  21. That cookbook looks like it belongs to a TRUE cook! Only a person who truly loves cooking would take the time to write all of those notes.

  22. Oh baby, I bought that cook book when at 18, I was filling the cedar chest my folks gave me for high school graduation. Remember, back in the day, that was THE gift to give your daughter. It was like a rite of passage...then it was expected that she and others help fill it up with household items!
    I had a dandy West Bend set inside, Cannon towels, Wamsutta sheets. I had better stuff at 18 then I do now at 59, hee hee~!
    Jim loves these cookies...I maybe might get something "sparkly" if I made your recipe.

  23. I'm nore a post it note - or re-write the recipe type of person. However, looking at your cookbook, that's the sort of thing that will one day be treasured by those close to you.

    It's the sort of thing that would be awesome to look back at all granny's scribbles.

    I think I'll maybe tart doing that to mine. No more post-its.

    Sorry. Just re-read this and it comes across like I'm writing an obituary ! Honest - I like it !

  24. I've always loved these and call them Mexican Wedding Cakes. Yours look wonderful and I really like the walnuts in them! Thanks for the great recipe. Happy Holidays!

  25. We call these cakes Mexican Wedding Cookies here in New Mexico. I always write in my cookbooks. I have one of my Great Grandmother's cookbooks and reading her notes are a treasure to me.

  26. A well used, written in cookebook
    is a sign of someone who cooks often and enjoys it.
    I make notes in mine all the time.

  27. I love those cookies they are divine!

  28. I wish my cookbooks looked that good!!! Yes I make notes, but my cookbooks (the ones I use) fall apart... Ithink my mom replaced her original Betty Crocker with that one... It wasn't the same!!!Love the Tea Cookies too, but I like to use a bit of flavoring to go the the nuts (bourbon, rum... etc).

  29. Hi! These desserts are the sweets for Christmas for us, here in Greece.
    It is very tasty!

    Happy Holidays

  30. Dodie, no, I can't top that. I'm wondering which one it is. Love those old cookbooks!

    Fallon, I've got a few spills on mine also and smudges also.

    Pamela, great with your grandson, what fun! I should do the post-its thing from now on but probably won't. Happy baking!

    jose manuel, gracias! Son deliciosas!

    Cathy, that's great with your mom's cookbooks! Wish I had some of my mom's!

    From the Kitchen, yes. It's a good thing to look back on the notes. I'm sure you will be getting a new cookbook for Christmas since you have been good. Happy Holidays your way!

    Subhashini, thank you and Happy Holidays to you also!

    Pegasuslegend, thanks so very much and I am happy to say the same back to you. Here's wishing Merry Christmas and the best to you in the new year!

    Monet, they are addictive! They're melt in your mouth good! Thank you and I hope your holidays are wonderful!

    The Wife of a Dairyman, glad your cookbooks are used too. You are so right - the cookies don't last long!

    GLENDA CHILDERS, that sounds like one great bakery! Wish we had one like that close to us but guess I will just have to take a little ride in to the city! Merry Christmas and hugs to you!

    Dedene, glad I'm not alone in that! Hope you like the cookies as much as we do. Joyeux Noël to you!

    Susan, interesting with the BH&G cookbook. I unfortunately threw my away years ago when I bought the later edition and am so sorry I did that as it was filled with notes also. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Alessandra, it is well used and there are more pages in it like that. Glad you like the cookies!

    Gail @ Faithfulness Farm, glad the tradition is carried on your way. Have a Merry Christmas!

    Dishesdone, lol! Yes, I have done that myself - not pleasant!

    teresa, great that it brought back good memories for you!

    Healthy and Homemade, they're a great buttery cookie and hope this is what your friend is looking for.

    Mr. Bill, I do also! It's a great one for a cookbook addict.

    Bridgett, yes, they're really delicious! I should start doing that with the notes!

    Design Wine and Dine, love your great grandma's name! Hope your holidays are the best!

    Farmchick, it does! Love those cookbooks!

    Corgidogmama, yes I remember the days of the cedar chest. My mom had a gorgeous intricately carved one. You definitely got some fine things in yours and I bet you will be getting something sparkly! Merry Christmas to you and yours and the Corgi's too!

    Sarah-Jane -, thank you! Yes, there are a lot of scribbles for this "granny to be!" I'm sure your son would like that too to look back on some day.

    Marguerite, yes. They're great with walnuts also. Happy Holidays your way!

    Linda, great! I'm glad to hear you do the same and just wish I had cookbooks that belonged to Grandma and Mom; they would be treasured for sure like you do yours.

    Country Dreaming, that's great! Bet yours aren't as messy as this one though.

    Karen Deborah, thank you!

    Beth, oh, I'd love to see yours! Yes, the cookbook changed and I wish I still had my earlier version of it. I will have to try that with the flavoring. Yum!

    kitchenStories, that's great to hear! Glad you enjoy them your way also!

  31. I also make notes in my cookbooks. I think the notes are simply more love added to to the recipe for your family and friends to experience. Have a wonderful day!

  32. Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes, that's a great way of saying it! Just more love. You have a wonderful day also!

  33. I get most of my recipes on the internet, and only have a few cookbooks that I love left. I got rid of a bunch of them when we moved because books are so heavy. Yours is a well loved cookbook - that's easy to tell. A friend of mine makes these cookies but she calls them "Angel Farts" because she says they're as light as angel farts. LOL Merry Christmas to you and your family, Pam!

  34. I created a 3-ring binder for my recipes since most are pulled from the world wide web these days! I write all over it! Papers everywhere! It's organized chaos!

  35. Karen, the internet makes it so easy but I use my cookbooks a lot as well. Love the "Angel Farts!" Perfect name! Here's wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas also!

    Valerie, great idea! I will be doing that as I have so many from the WWW. I love organized chaos! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  36. Hello Pam, Merry Christmas!
    I like your blog and everything you cook with big love. I have a question. Why do you call those cakes Russian? I have never heard of such...))) I live in Russia..I just wonder..
    Good luck!!

  37. Lada, thank you! I have no idea and you made me curious. Here is what Wikipedia says: Russian tea cakes appeared in Russia in the 18th century, literally as a confection used in a tea-sharing ceremony. By the 20th century, they were a part of wedding and Christmas traditions in the US, by their popular "Russian tea" nomenclature.

    I just know they are great with a cup of coffee or tea! I visited your blog; unfortunately I don't know Russian but thanks so much for visiting mine. Have a great New Year!


Celery is as fresh and clean as a rainy day after a spell of heat. It crackles pleasantly in the mouth.... it should be eaten alone, for it is the only food which one really wants to hear oneself eat.
~ A.A. Milne, "A Word for Autumn,"

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