Russian Tea Cakes

You know those specific foods in your life that once they come in contact with any of your senses, it brings you back to your childhood? Well, rosemary and russian tea cakes do that for me.

I know, I know, such a weird combo!

When I was about 1.5-2ish (I know, super young! especially considering I don’t remember much of my childhood years), my father and I used to walk to a little shopping plaza across the street from our house and go to this cute, little local bakery shop called Sweet Things. We would get these crescent shaped cookies that has walnuts and powdered sugar and they were so delicious and crumbly. I did not have the opportunity to spend much time with my father during my toddler years so those cookies really hold the few memories I do have with him.

Those cookies were my favorite.

Real Food Russian Tea Cakes Made with Einkorn Flour & Soaked Walnuts

Fast forward 21 years. We were hosting a holiday party and my sister-in-law brought some homemade Russian tea cake cookies along with fudge. Me being a sweets type of person (I definitely get that from my father), I dove into the powdered sugar goodness, only to be surprised with that very same taste from my childhood. For a minute there, I was transported back in time, and imagined myself as the little girl eating those moon shaped, powdered sugar, crumbly-goodness cookies with my father.

Whoa!

And then I became addicted. Thank goodness she offered to leave the tin of cookies with me because I was in love and would have been very sad to see those cookies leave with her.

She sent me the recipe and said it was my (half)brother’s mom’s recipe.  So, with the holidays being here, I decided to give it a go and change up a few of the ingredients to make it a little more real foodie friendly. Besides the amazing taste, what I really love about these cookies is they take less than 30 minutes to make from start-to-finish. Well, not counting the time involved in soaking the walnuts.

Why soak the walnuts?

Nuts (and grains) contain a toxin called phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to minerals in the food you are eating so you are essentially not absorbing the amount of minerals that you should be (especially zinc and iron)(source). Not only that, phytic acid interferes with enzymes that are required to break down the food in our guts properly.

No bueno, right?

One sure way to eliminate some of the havoc phytic acid can have on your digestion system is by properly preparing nuts and grains. It has been researched that traditional cultures would soak nuts and grains in a salted water, sun dry them and then grind them into whatever they are preparing.

For us modern folks, we can mimic this procedure by soaking them in salted water for a long period of time,  dehydrating them (either in a dehydrator or in an oven on a really low setting), and then cooking them somehow.

 

How to Cut an Avocado
 
Serves: 15-20 cookies
Ingredients
Necessary Equipment
  • Hand mixer (where to buy)
  • Small food processor like a Ninja Prep (where to buy), optional
  • 1 cup pastured butter, softened
  • ½ cup organic powdered sugar (where to find)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2¼ cup einkorn flour, sifted (where to find)
  • small pinch unrefined real salt (where to find)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts (soaked and dehydrated)*
  • Powdered sugar to dip cookies in
Instructions
  1. TO SOAK WALNUTS the day before: Place 2 cups walnuts in a bowl of filtered water with 1 tsp real salt; let sit overnight (7-24 hours). After time is complete, place on a dehydrator sheet and dry for 10 hours at 115º. If you do not have a dehydrator, place on the lowest setting in your oven for 10-12 hours. Taste test and see if they are crunchy and there is no more moisture left
  2. NEXT DAY: Heat oven to 400º
  3. Mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer
  4. Stir in flour, salt and nuts
  5. Shape dough into 1 inch balls
  6. Place on an un-greased cookie sheet
  7. Bake until set but not brown, 8-9 minutes
  8. Let sit for 5 mins; roll into powdered sugar while warm; roll in powdered sugar again
Notes
*I used my small food processor to chop the walnuts in about 5 seconds!
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About

Aside from being a wannabe backyard homesteader who wrangles chickens and free-range kids, Loriel is the owner/creator of the professional natural lifestyle blog Naturally Loriel, owner of the organic spice blend business Naturally Free, and freelance professional food photographer.


'Russian Tea Cakes' has 3 comments

  1. December 9, 2015 @ 1:14 pm Samantha

    I just made these and they turned out beautifully ! I added a bit more flour to the dough so that the bowl was clean of dough when mixing. I have used Einkorn before and know that a bit more is always needed to make it easier to handle. I used a one inch scoop and came up with 38 cookies. Thank you for this recipe. RTC have been a Christmas tradition in our family for generations, and now I feel better about making them with a safer flour.

    Reply

    • January 18, 2016 @ 9:23 pm Loriel

      So happy these turned out for you!

      Reply

  2. December 9, 2016 @ 5:15 pm J-WAZ

    thank you so much for the recipe… i wanted to make RTC for a cookie exchange, and I bought some einkorn flour on whim… looking forward to tasting the results. 🙂

    Reply


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