Russian Tea Cakes

By Yankee Magazine

Nov 06 2002


Back in 1943, I was a fifth-grader in Southhold grade school, Southhold, Long Island, New York. We had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Charlotte Lindsay. Her history and geography lessons were very special because, with her lectures, she brought in samples of food from each country we studied.

The most memorable to me were the small, powdery, white, crispy, crunchy, sweet delights that Mrs. Lindsay said were eaten in Russia. She said they were eaten with tea at teatime; so they were appropriately named Russian Tea Cakes. How I envied the children of that country!

I went home from school that day raving so much about the smart mothers in Russia that my mother wrote Mrs. Lindsay asking for the recipe. Our family and friends have really enjoyed them ever since.

At Christmastime the cookies look especially nice “tucked in” like little white snowballs on a tray with the other kinds of cookies.


2 dozen cookies


1 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup walnuts or other nuts (or coconut)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter or margarine. Add the sugar; cream again. Add salt and flour to creamed mixture and work in well with your hands. Blend in vanilla and nuts. Form dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place balls on a lightly greased baking sheet about 2-1/2 inches apart. Bake 14 to 17 minutes. Watch the cookies closely — they brown quickly on the bottom and may have to be “scraped.” While the cookies are warm, roll them in confectioners’ sugar. Let cool and roll again.