If I had a dollar for every batch of these I’ve made…I could feed the entire state of New Jersey! Not only are they my own personal favorite….and my hubby’s favorite….and the neighbor’s favorite….they were my most requested Christmas, Holiday, Wedding Reception and all-occasion cookie back when I used to cater!
Just about every family I know makes one version or another of these. My mom used to make some too, but were a bit dry (sorry mom!), and didn’t include any liqueur in them and she called them “Mexican Wedding Cakes”.
There are probably literally hundreds of variations and names for them, but these are the ones I enjoy the most! I’ve added and adjusted so that they don’t get overdone, dry out, still stay moist without compromising the way they’re traditionally supposed to be, and the added Amaretto just really takes them over the top!
They come together quickly and easily, and are such a nice cookie dough to roll! I never even have to chill the dough first! But you can make the dough a day or two ahead if you’d like. Just bring to room temp a bit, then roll and bake them when you need them!
Besides not over baking them, I guess the other 2 tricks are to chop the almonds very finely. I use my mini chopper for this because there’s no way to get them that fine by hand.
Also, they need to be double-coated with powdered sugar after baking. Some people don’t do this and it’s a step that really should not be skipped. This also helps to not only keep them moist, but helps to give them that unmistakable melt-in-your-mouth taste!
I forgot to get a quick shot of them after baking and before coating, but they’re just a pale color, not browned, just baked until “set”.
The bottoms will be a nice golden brown color, but bottoms only. Plus, I admit I was in a bit of a rush! For some reason, I have felt so far behind this year! You, too??! Not only that, but have to keep running out to the living room to rescue our tree from the “Serial Christmas Tree Killer”!! A.k.a “Gilbert who’s getting coal this year”. :/ Here he is, the little bandit caught in the act!
So if you’re in need of an extra cookie to bake for the holidays, this one is just the ticket!
Traditional with an extra flair of almond and coconut! Double-rolled for a dreamy melt-in-your-mouth experience that even tastes like Christmas!
Hope you enjoy and these become an every year tradition in your home, too!
AMARETTO RUSSIAN TEA CAKE COOKIES
Makes 33 – 36 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) real butter, do not sub
1/2 cup powdered sugar, measure by the “scoop and level” method
1 Tbl. Amaretto Liqueur
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup packed sweetened angel flake coconut
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar for rolling
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In mixer bowl, beat butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, Amaretto and extracts. Mix in flour, coconut, almonds and salt.
Shape dough into 1″ balls and place onto ungreased baking sheets about one inch apart.
Bake for only about 10 – 12 minutes until set but not browned. Remove immediately and carefully to a wire rack. Cool slightly. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar nicely coating and placing back on rack to cool completely.
When completely cool, roll again in powdered sugar again nicely coating. Store in airtight container.
Makes 2 1/2 – 3 dozen. I always get 33-36 cookies.