Friday, June 4, 2010

Chai Almond Snowballs

There are a couple cookies that I fondly remember from childhood. I made most of those favorites when I started my blog, so now I have to figure out ways to keep making variations of those favorites. One of my favorites is the Russian teacake. They go by lots of different names: Mexican wedding cakes, snowballs, etc. I’m sure you’ve had them before, probably on a plate of Christmas cookies that someone made for you. Some people love them, some don’t. I happen to really like them.

This is a variation of the Russian teacake, but spiced up. It has the flavors of chai tea, but you make those flavors yourself instead of using premade chai tea mix. It also uses almonds rather than pecans or walnuts. The basic recipe isn’t so different; just add cinnamon, allspice and cardamom.

I was worried that these would be to fall-like, but they aren’t at all. They smelled so good when I was making them and even better when they were baking. My house smells amazing! The flavor is spot on for chai. For a cookie that is quite simple, the flavors are wonderful and complex. They do bake a little longer than most cookies, but they don’t get dry. They would be perfect with a cup of tea, but they are so good on their own. I will make these again!

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
Additional powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar, extracts, spices, and salt in medium bowl. Stir in the flour, then stir in almonds. Roll dough into tablespoon-size balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake until pale golden, 20-25 minutes. Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Place powdered sugar in large bowl. Working in batches, gently coat hot cookies in sugar. Cool cookies on rack. Roll again in sugar and serve.

Recipe from Epicurious

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