Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lemon Tea Cakes

I recently bought a book titled "Betty Crocker Cookies: 100 Favorite Recipes" {the link is the closest thing I've found to what I have}. I bought it at Barnes and Noble in their bargain books section for about $7.00. I was so excited! For some reason, this book has me excited about cookies and baking and I have already been through the book twice and I'm itching to make so many things from it! One of the recipes I've made already is Russian Tea Cakes {also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies} - though I actually made lemon because I was in the mood for a bit of citrus flavor. They are so yummy! They were pretty easy to make, though a little bit time-consuming, just because you have to crush the lemon drops and roll the cookies in powdered sugar. However they are worth it!  These cookies are best within about three days of making them . . . and I love them just a tad warm. Yum!

Lemon Tea Cakes
Recipe from Betty Crocker
Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour 35 minutes
Makes: about 4 dozen cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts - I used walnuts, and chopped them up nice and fine in my food processor
1/2 - 1 cup crushed lemon drops, divided - I think I used about 3/4 cups of drops

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Crush the lemon drops in a food processor or blender. Lemon drops are really hard and I will warn you, crushing the drops by either method is very loud. Earplugs are seriously recommended! I found that my food processor was considerably quieter than my blender - my baby really hated my blender! What I found easiest was crushing them first in my food processor, then putting the larger chunks in a plastic baggie, putting the plastic baggie between a towel and then breaking those chunks into smaller chunks using using a rolling pin. Unless your food processor is better than mine. Then it might just crush them all in one try.
In large bowl, beat butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the lemon extract with an electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with a spoon until creamy and fluffy. Mix the grated lemon rind with the flour. Add flour mixture and salt to the butter mixture. Stir in nuts and 1/4 cup crushed lemon drops.
Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into 1-inch balls. On un-greased cookie sheet, place balls about 2 inches apart.
Bake 7-9 minutes or until set but not brown. In small bowl, place addition powdered sugar. Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet; roll in powdered sugar; wait 10 minutes, then roll in reserved crushed lemon drops. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 30 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar again.

Russian Tea Cakes
Substitute vanilla extract for the lemon and omit the grated lemon rind and crushed lemon drops. Everything else as directed.

Chocolate Filled Russian Tea Cakes
Use all same dough ingredients as Russian tea cakes, adding milk chocolate stars, chocolate chips or chopped pieces of chocolate candy. When dough is made, shape tablespoonfuls of dough around chocolate stars and form into 1-inch balls. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until bottoms start to brown. While baking make sugar coating: 1 cup powdered sugar; 1 Tbsp red sugar; 1 Tbsp. green sugar. When cookies are baked, roll into the sugar coating mixture. Reroll, if desired.

Peppermint Tea Cakes
Crust 3/4 cup hard peppermint candies in food processor or blender. Stir in 1/4 cup of the crushed candies with the flour; reserve remaining candy. Bake as directed. Immediately roll baked cookies in powdered sugar; wait 10 minutes, then roll in reserved crushed candy. Reroll, if desired. 

Cinnamon Tea Cakes
Add 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon to the cookie dough, at the same stage as adding the flour and salt. Bake as directed above. When baked, roll cookies in a mixture of 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Reroll, if desired. 

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails