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.
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.
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 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 🙂