Russian Tea Cakes

This classic cookie recipe is a perfect bite of shortbread enrobed in powdered sugar.  This recipe is also called Mexican tea cakes, wedding cookies, or snowballs, these pretty little cookies are rich, tender, with a sandy texture. They’re perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

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In my family, these yummy little cookies were made every holiday and for every wedding.  I’ve continued the tradition by making them for Christmas. I can’t imagine a holiday cookie tray without them.  Plus, they’re incredibly easy.

Classic cookie recipe of little shortbread balls coated in powdered sugar


This is a classic holiday cookie of buttery shortbread cookies that are enriched with toasted chopped nuts and rolled in powdered sugar.  They are delicate, not too sweet, and melt in your mouth.


  • You want to use fresh, real butter – not margarine.  Real butter adds richness and a lot of flavor.  
  • The dough will be thick.  Use a paddle attachment and take your time to fully mix the dough.
  • Toast the nuts to really bring out their flavor.  
  • Be sure to finely grind the nuts.  This will help the cookie hold its shape.  Finely ground, and toasted nuts add to the fine, sandy texture of the cookie.
  • Not a fan of walnuts or pecans?  Any nut will work. Try mini chocolate chips, toffee chips, or skip them altogether and leave the dough plain.
  • A 1 tablespoon cookie scoop makes the perfect size cookie.
  • Coat the cookies with powdered sugar while they are warm and again when cool.  The first coating of powdered sugar almost melts around the cookie and the second coat gives the pretty, powdery coating that these cookies are known for.

Classic cookie recipe of little shortbread balls coated in powdered sugar


Looking for additional treats for your holiday celebration?  Here are a few to consider:

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Classic cookie recipe of little shortbread balls coated in powdered sugar



A classic cookie recipe for bite size shortbread balls coated in powdered sugar.  So buttery, tender, and delicious.  A perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray.



1 cup Butter

1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

6 tablespoons Powdered sugar

2 cups Flour

1 cup Finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

1 cup Powdered sugar, for coating


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and vanilla until smooth.

Stir the 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar into the flour.  Add to the butter mixture and combine, on low speed, until just blended.  Mix in the chopped walnuts.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet 2-inches apart.

Bake for 12 minutes or until the bottoms are just beginning to turn golden.

Pour the 1 cup of powdered sugar into a ziplock bag.  While the cookies are still warm, shake them in the powdered sugar – a few at a time.

Place on a wire rack to cool completely.  When the cookies are cool, coat them in the powdered sugar again.

Store in an airtight container.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Russian

Keywords: classic cookie recipe, Russian tea cake recipe, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Snowball recipe, holiday cookies, Christmas cookies

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