Almond Russian Tea Cake

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My cousin Shama and uncle Raja Chitappa have inspired me to try out the Russian tea cake. The name is a Russian tea cake, but they are cookies. I simply love these cookies. They taste amazing and are very easy to make. They taste very similar to our Indian biscuit Nan Khattai.

I followed the recipe on food network by Emril Lagasse:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/russian-tea-cakes-recipe/index.html

I used finely ground almonds instead of finely chopped pecans/walnuts

Makes: 30 to 40 cookies

Ingredients

  • Butter – 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectionary sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies
  • All purpose flour – 2 cups
  • Vanilla extract or Almond extract – 1/4 tsp (You can use 1/2 tsp of Vanilla essence, vanilla extract is more concentrated so I used 1/4 tsp)
  • Almonds, ground – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp

Method

Basic Preparation

  • Place the butter outside for 5-10 minutes so that it reaches a room temperature. The butter should not melt, we just want it to reach a room temperature so that it blends well with the batter
  • Sift the flour and then add salt to the flour and sift again
  • Line the cookie tray with un greased parchment paper.  Yes, you heard it right for this recipe you need to use un greased parchment paper

Making the Batter

  • Beat sugar and butter until frothy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to prevent any sugar remaining in the bowl which is not incorporated. Add the almond extract or vanilla extract and mix well
  • Mix in spoonfuls of flour. At this stage, use a folding in movement, i.e. mix well in one direction so that there are no air bubbles formed
  • Add the almonds and mix well
  • The dough should be stiff, almost like roti atta

Baking

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes
  • Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart. Flatten them slightly using your palm
  • Give enough space for the cookie to expand
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown (Time may vary depending on your oven settings)

Cooling the cookies and giving the finishing coat

  • Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and coat them with powdered sugar, while still hot. This is important, you need to coat the cookies as soon as you take them out
  • Cool on a cooling rack for a sufficient amount of time.
  • Once completely cooled, coat the cookies with powdered sugar again

Store the cookies in an air tight container. Sit back and enjoy the cookies. The shelf life of these cookies is said to be a week, but if you have a sweet tooth like me, I would say they would only last a day or two 🙂

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