Featured Image - Russian Tea Cakes

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I like to make Russian Tea Cakes during the holidays or for special tea parties. My granddaughter loves these little cookies–at least she loves licking the jam from the center! They are easy to make, too, which means they are kid-friendly.

I’m guessing they are called Russian Tea Cakes because they are much like Christmas Snowball Cookies that have nuts and are rolled in powdered sugar. I’ve also heard them called thumbprint cookies, which appear to have originated in Sweden.

No matter where the name came from, they are sweet, buttery shortbread cookies that are easy to make with simple ingredients. And they are delightful with a cup of hot tea, or just to munch on as a snack.

More Shortbread Cookies To Try

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Ingredients for Russian Tea Cakes

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

  • butter, softened
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • raspberry and/or apricot jam
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions for Making this Recipe

Preheat oven to 325°F. Gather your equipment and ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Mix Flour Ingredients with the Butter
Use a Scoop or Spoon and Form Balls for the Cookies

Blend in the all-purpose flour and salt and mix thoroughly. Roll tablespoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Place on cookie sheets lined with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

I like to use a disher scoop to make the balls all the same size. Here I’ve used a Vollrath purple 3/4 oz scoop, Size 40.

Press down with your thumb or a spoon in the center of each cookie. Fill centers with a teaspoon of the strawberry and/or apricot jam.

You may use any flavor of jam that you like. We almost always go for Raspberry and Apricot, although Strawberry, Plum, or even Fig would be good, too. You could also fill the centers with chopped nuts, such as pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds. 

Another Filling Option for this Recipe

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Change up this recipe by using Lemon Curd for the filling instead of jam. Simply add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon curd in the cookie hole. Bake as directed and when cookies have cooled, drizzle with lemon icing: 1 cup powdered sugar + 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Allow icing to set and serve with tea or lemonade! See my Lemon Curd Recipe Here.

Bake Cookies and Remove from Oven when Light Golden on Bottom Edges

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the bottoms are just golden brown. Cool on wire racks. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

This recipe will make 2 dozen cookies perfect for your next tea party.

Store leftovers in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days. Or freeze in freezer bags for up to 3 months. These cookies store well in the freezer.

Featured Image - Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea Cakes

This is a recipe I like to make during the holidays or for special tea parties.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Serving Size 12

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325℉. Gather the ingredients and place on a counter or table so you have everything close by. Line two baking sheets with Half-Sheet Baking Parchment Paper or silicone baking pads.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract.
  • Combine flour and salt in a small bowl and sift until mixed well. Add to butter mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Using a cookie scoop or spoon, form dough into 1-inch balls. Place on prepare baking sheets. Press down with your thumb or a spoon in the center of each cookie. Fill centers with 2 teaspoons of preserves.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until bottoms are just golden brown. Cool on wire racks. When cool, dust with powdered sugar. Makes 2 dozen.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all of my recipes use salted butter. 
**You may use Lemon Curd for the filling instead of jam. Simply add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon curd in the cookie hole. Bake as directed and when cookies have cooled, drizzle with lemon icing: 1 cup powdered sugar + 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Allow icing to set and serve. See my Lemon Curd Recipe Here.

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

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