These delicate little cookies are known all over the world. In addition to being call Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, and Greek Kourambiethes, they are also known as Kipfel in Austria, Mandulas Kiflik in Bulgaria, Rohlichky in Ukraine, Polvorones in Italy, and in the U.S., Almond Butter Balls, Snowballs, and Moldy Mice. Pine nuts or chopped pecans can be used in place of the slivered almonds with excellent results. Use real butter for the full effect. This recipe is from my mother, Barbara White, who has been baking them for over sixty years!
• 1 cup salted butter, very soft
• 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/8 tsp almond extract (if you used almonds)
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup slivered almonds, roasted (optional)
• 2 cups powdered sugar (to roll cookies in)
Stir together the butter and sugar until thoroughly mixed. Add flavorings and stir, then stir in flour and nuts until well blended. Form into one-inch balls. Refridgerate them until firm- this helps keep their round shape during baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and when ready to bake, place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown. While still hot, roll in powdered sugar.
You can individually package your Russian Tea Cakes in bell boxes or cellophane bags, or silken rice-paper napkins from Blissweddings.com. Add a custom MOL hang tag and you have the perfect favor for a wedding or tea party.