Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Tea With Betty

It was one year ago today, December 24, 2011, that we picked up the first printing of my book, Tea With Betty.  After seven years of work, it was finally done.  I will never forget the incredible feeling I had holding the finished product in my hands for the first time.

Tea With Betty Book

Tea With Betty Book

This past year has been full of new experiences for me thanks to Betty.   A major adventure has been the launching of this blog.  I wasn’t  familiar with the blog world prior to this.  It was all new to me.  I have been so moved and impressed with the generosity in this community.

I love tea and food and family and writing.  Sharing insights, finds, and tips has been invigorating and fulfilling.  As we head into the new year, know that I am committed to continuously improve the quality, writing, and overall value of  teawithbetty.wordpress for you readers.  Thank you so much for following and inspiring me to keep going.

One of my favorite recipes from the book, and perfect for Christmastime, is the Russian Tea Cake (or Pecan Ball).  They are simple to make.  Flour, sugar, butter, toasted pecans – roll and bake…dredge while warm in powdered confectioner’s sugar.  What makes the pecan ball a Russian tea cake is the sugar.  The Russian tea cake has powdered confectioner’s sugar in it versus granulated sugar.  While either sugar makes an excellent cookie, I prefer using the powdered sugar in the cookie as it makes it just melt in your mouth.

Here’s a few left from the second batch I’ve made this week….these go quickly.  They are really really delicious with a cup of hot tea.

Tea cookies...Pecan balls, Linda's coconut macaroons

Tea cookies…Pecan balls, Linda’s coconut macaroons

IMG_4909 IMG_4910

Here they sit next to coconut macaroons that went into the package we sent up to our nephew who was missing  Christmas with the family this year and he loves Grandma’s recipes.

PECAN BALLS OR RUSSIAN TEA CAKES RECIPE

Makes about 36 cookies.

PREP TIME:  30 minutes TOTAL TIME:  45 minutes (includes baking time)

Preheat oven to 350˚ F.

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter (use best quality you can)

4 tablespoons granulated sugar (note: for Russian tea cake use confectioners powdered sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups flour, sifted

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted and then chopped

2 cups confectioners powdered sugar, for rolling warm cookies into after baking

Using a mixer with the paddle blade, cream butter and sugar until well blended, on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Add vanilla.

Add sifted flour and salt.

Fold in chopped nuts.

Using your hands, make into balls to the size you prefer; tablespoon-sized is best.

Drop on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes, cool on rack for about 5 minutes; and then, while still warm, roll baked cookies in powdered confectioners sugar per below.

Pour powdered sugar into a medium bowl.

Roll warm, baked cookies gently in powdered sugar.

Powdered sugar adheres as long as the cookie is warm when applying.

Merry Christmas to those celebrating the holiday and thank you for reading 🙂

16 Comments

  1. Hey, you were supposed to be wrapping my Christmas gifts.

  2. Done… 🙂 Merry Christmas…

  3. What a fabulous memory that is!! I remember that day too! I think we met in a parking lot and you showed me the boxes in the back of your car. 😉 Congratulations, Linda!! And thank you for sharing your love for and knowledge about tea and food in your book and in this blog!! Merry Christmas!!

    • Yes, we did meet in a parking lot and I think I could barely keep my feet on the ground…in all likelihood, the book would still be “not completed” if it wasn’t for your work, input, and sage direction. Thank you Hils.

  4. Merry Christmas! What a year it has been!!!

    • And Merry Christmas to you too J! It has been quite the year.

  5. And I remember that day very well too — you stopped by my house to give me the gift of your book on the way home from the printer!! Everyone passed the book around that evening looking at pictures and reading excerpts! Wow, did this year go by fast Congratulations on the success of your book and your blog We have enjoyed both all year long!! Merry Christmas!

    • Yep…you were the first to see the book…and rightly so being my longest and best friend 🙂 I think my Mom would have loved it too…so would yours. Thanks for always being so supportive!!! It makes all the difference.

  6. That was a wonderful achievement after 7 years, it must have felt fantastic to have the finished product in your hands this time last year. Your Russian tea cakes and macaroons look wonderful, I’m going to try your recipe and I love the name, perfect with a nice cup of tea! I hope you’re having a lovely festive season, and here’s to 2013 and lots more happy blogging!

    • Thanks Lorna….hope you love the cookies. Your encouragement is truly appreciated. Here’s to a healthy, creative, productive 2013…and to making great progress on your writing / novel too!

  7. Time passes by so quickly…it must have been wonderful when you held your finished book for the first time. Russian tea cakes are a favorite on our home.

    • Thanks so much for your comments…it was quite a feeling and still is to hold that book. I love the look on guests faces when they see a platter of those gorgeous little round, powdery, cookies 🙂

  8. Congratulations on your accomplishment. You have always been an inspiration to me ans now others.

    • Thank you…you have also always been an inspiration and someone I just love to share tea with 🙂

  9. Happy New Years

    • I sure hope so 🙂