In an earlier post, Soul Food by my friend, Pati, she describes the connection she and I have had cooking together the past twelve years. In addition to the monthly cooking, we also set time aside to make cookies and candies each year at Christmas. My friend, Donna, who joined our cooking adventures along the way, was quickly conscripted into our cookie tradition too.
This candy collaboration is no small undertaking when baking, dipping, and sorting for three families and their planned giveaways. We learned the overachiever lesson of sacrificing joy for production a time or two, settling on the favorites: Russian Tea Cakes, Sugar Cookies, Grandma’s Molasses Cookies, Chocolate Covered Almonds, Turtles, Peppermint Bark, Toffee Bark, and Chocolate Pretzels.
Armed with ten pounds of Ghirardelli dipping chocolate and enough confection to make children swoon, we laugh, lament, and share stories for hours on end. We have worked around bum shoulders and knees, emotional burnout, life crisis, and overloaded schedules to make sure it happens every year. The chopping, mixing, baking, and dipping are simply the backdrop for fellowship and friendship, which is the sweetest gift in all of it.
Russian Tea Cakes
- 1 cup butter , softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- *additional powdered sugar for dusting
- Heat oven to 400°F. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla. Mix in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds together.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1-inch apart on ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake until set but not brown, 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from pan and cool slightly; roll in powdered sugar while still warm. Cool completely and roll in powdered sugar again.