Russian tea cookies are delicious, buttery, crumbly pieces of heaven that are filled to the edges with fragrant toasted hazelnuts and rolled in a white blizzard of powdered sugar. Thanks to the rich, buttery dough the cookies are so soft and fluffy, melting in your mouth with every bite. Once you take one bite you can not stop eating them.
And they are loaded with crushed aromatic hazelnuts. That is what really sets them apart from very similar Mexican wedding cookies, snowball cookies or pecan filled southern pecan sandies. There are lot of variations of that type of shortbread cookie and using different types of toasted nuts that what makes them different.
Hazelnuts are huge in Eastern Europe, it is hazelnuts everything. And they are the true super star of the cookies. The toasted, crushed hazelnuts give the cookies the dominate nutty flavor that is simply addicting. Toasting the nuts is a must. It really intensifies the aroma giving the cookies the most intense, complex, deep flavor. It might seem fussy but it does make a huge difference in the taste. Since there is no eggs in the dough to bind everything together, the texture is more crumbly, melting-away rather than chewy.
Making the cookies is a breeze. With just a handful of simple ingredients like butter, sugar, vanilla extract and toasted, chopped nuts and just under 30 minutes you have an amazing treat suitable for any occasion on your plate. These cookies are always a huge hit and will please even the most sophisticated palettes.