Russian Tea Cakes


Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cakes, Viennese almond crescents—many countries have their own version of these melt-in-your-mouth butter-and-nut cookies. This one was created by Yigit Pura of Tout Sweet patisserie, in San Francisco and Palo Alto. We love it for its extreme crispness and toasty brown-butter flavor, and because it’s not too sweet; most of the sugar is on the outside.



  • 1 cup (140 g*) hazelnuts
  • 1 cup plus 6 tbsp. (310 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. chunks, at cool room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. (90 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Scant 1 tbsp. (10 g) vanilla-bean paste*
  • 1 tablespoon cognac or brandy
  • 3 cups plus 2 tbsp. (435 g) flour
  • About 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar for rolling

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until light golden brown and skins start to split, 8 to 10 minutes. Rub warm nuts in a kitchen towel to remove most of skins (it’s okay if some stick). Let cool and chop coarsely.

Step 2

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer with beaters; cookies will be slightly crumblier), beat butter, granulated sugar, and salt on medium speed until evenly mixed and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 3

In a small bowl, whisk together vanilla-bean paste and cognac. Scrape into butter mixture and mix to incorporate.

Step 4

On low speed, gradually mix in flour, scraping bowl as needed. Add hazelnuts and mix 30 seconds more.

Step 5

Immediately scoop cookies into 1 1/2-tbsp. (25 g) portions and roll into balls. Chill, covered, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

Step 6

Preheat oven to 325° with racks in upper and lower thirds. Stack a baking sheet on a second sheet (to help cookies get evenly golden brown). Repeat with 2 more baking sheets. Line top sheet in each stack with parchment paper and set chilled cookie portions on parchment about 1 in. apart.

Step 7

Bake cookies 20 minutes. Switch positions of pans and rotate each 180°; then bake until medium golden brown, almost like biscotti, 25 to 30 minutes more. Slide parchment with cookies onto cooling racks and let cool completely.

Step 8

Put powdered sugar in a large, wide bowl, then roll cookies in powdered sugar. Repeat, lightly pressing sugar onto cookies to form a thick, fluffy coat.

Step 9

*Pura recommends weighing ingredients on a kitchen scale, since it’s more precise. Find vanilla-bean paste at

Step 10

Make ahead: Through step 5, up to 2 days, chilled airtight, or 2 months, frozen (thaw overnight in fridge before proceeding). Baked cookies, 2 to 3 days, airtight at room temperature, or up to 2 months, frozen.

Оцените статью