Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Russian Tea Balls

This recipe started out as "Christmas Cookies with Walnuts," a recipe I found in my Mexican cookbook. I thought they would be a nice way to finish off our chimichanga dinner (see the other post for today). The recipe called for lard, which I thought could be easily replaced with vegetable shortening. I also replaced the walnuts with pecans (Vegan Mom is not a big walnut fan). The picture in the cookbook showed fairly flat cookies, but mine stayed as balls (maybe the lack of lard?). In fact, the end result tasted just like a cookie my Mom makes for Christmas called Russian Tea Balls. So, by my mistake I veganized yet another childhood favourite.

- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (I pulsed whole pecans in a coffee grinder)
- icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350
1. Beat shortening in a bowl until fluffy. Slowly beat in icing sugar, then vanilla, and beat well.
2. Add in flour by hand, gently working it in until mixture resembles rough bread crumbs. Gently mix in pecans by hand.
3. Form/press mixture into 24 balls by hand (about the size of ping pong balls). Bake 12-15 mins, until very lightly golden. Cool on baking racks.
4. When cooled, roll cookies in icing sugar to coat. Enjoy!