Cookie-A-Day: Day 1 – Russian Teacakes

My Mom used to make these cookies when I was a child.  I remember calling them “Snowballs” instead of “Russian Teacakes”.  They are also called “Mexican Wedding Cakes”.  This recipe comes from the old Betty Crocker cookbook.  I am talking about the old, old, old one.  I think that it was printed in the early 70s.  All I know is that my Mom still has the book & it is in pieces.  She was nice enough to make copies of my favorite recipes for me a few years back.  I didn’t have to do much to modify this recipe to be gluten-free. 




What I did:

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

2 1/4 cups GF Flour Mix (I used Carol’s Sorghum Mix)

1 1/2 tsps Xanthan Gum

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Heat oven to 400.  Mix thoroughly butter, sugar, egg & vanilla.  Work in flour, salt & nuts until the dough holds together.  Cover & chill for 30 minutes or so.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set, but not brown.  I only needed to keep them in for 10 minutes.  I use an oven thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature in my oven.  Let cookies cool slightly – 5-10 minutes.  While still warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar.  Set on cooling rack to complete cooling.  Roll again in sugar once they are cool. 

Ready to go into the oven:


Finished product:


They kids loved these!  The best thing about these cookies is they freeze well.  I froze most of these so that I can have a nice assortment of cookies for Christmas. 





16 Responses

  1. Scott and I love these cookies! And you’re right, they totally freeze well. I have some from Whole Foods that I bought and just freeze to pull out when the mood strikes. I just might have that Betty Crocker Cookbook. I need to make some!

  2. These sound great. I can’t wait to make them for my office to share during the holidays. Thanks for the adapted recipe!

  3. Yum! These look simply delicious =D. Not to mention adorable!

  4. I know I might not get a response but has anyone tried just strait white rice flour for these?

  5. I find that gluten-free baking works best when a mix of flours is used.


  6. I replaced the 1 1/2 tsps Xanthan Gum with Corn Starch and it worked perfectly! What a great recipe – thanks!

  7. I am so glad I found this recipe. My sister and I always do cookie baking day just before Christmas. This year she had to go gluten-free so we weren’t sure what cookies we could still make. Russian Tea Cakes have always been on our list; looks like they can stay there!

  8. YEAH! I’ll be trying this recipe. Nothing says Christmas to me like these cookies. Now that I’m gluten free I was concerned I couldn’t have them. Barb
    Life Through Dogs
    Unleash Your Potential in Life!

  9. […] another note, I made what we call Snowball Cookies the other night.  My husband ate one and commented on how good they were.  Then he asked, […]

  10. Yeah! I remember my mother’s Betty Crocker cookbook. it was tattered already in the 50’s when she was teaching me to bake cookies! Her recipe does not include eggs, so before I became gluten intolerant, I could eat them even with my egg allergy. I am guessing you added the egg to help the gf flours hold together? Anyone done these without the egg?

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