Russian Tea Cookies

Good Morning everyone! It’s been fun recapping the holidays but I’m not going to lie, I’m sort of happy to move on. I always enjoy the season and I try to make it a reflective time and savor each moment with our loved ones but it can be just down right exhausting. While I don’t necessarily believe in new years resolutions in the traditional sense, I often look forward to the fresh start the new year promises and try to take at least some time to consider goals I have for the coming year, ways I’d like to be more mindful, and relationships I’d like to focus on (all of them). On that note, I promised a sweet finish to the holiday review so get your recipe cards out and file this one away for next year.

Russian tea cookies have been a Christmas staple since my childhood. They are delicious morsels of goodness covered in confectioners sugar. They go by other names such as Mexican wedding cakes, but “Russian teas” have always been the moniker we’ve given them. The following recipe has been passed down through several generations and is definitely one of our family favorites. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Russian Tea Cookies

1 cup butter at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners sugar plus more for coating

t teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla using either a stand mixer or hand mixer.

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Sift together flour and salt. Stir in walnuts.

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Incorporate the flour mixture with the butter mixture.

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Form into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart (I love using silicone baking mats).

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Bake for 14-17 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Roll in confectioners sugar and serve or store in airtight cookie tins.

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Do you make a similar recipe? I’d love to hear about any techniques or variations you may use!

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Champagne Cupcakes

Yesterday, I featured some of the details from our black and white party on New Years Eve. In addition to fashioning some festive decor to go along with the theme, I whipped up some super festive Champagne Cupcakes. During my quick trip to Michael’s the day of for party supplies, I found some black and white cupcake wrappers and a collection of cake sugars/sprinkles in silver, black, and white. Perfect!

I found the following recipe for Champagne Cake on All Recipes. Rather than make one whole cake, I simply divided the batter for cupcakes filling each cup about 2/3 of the way. I also knocked down the cook time from 25 minutes to approximately 20 minutes. Additionally, I did not have time to make my own butter cream frosting but luckily, I had a container of pre-made butter cream frosting hanging out in the pantry. I mixed approximately 4 tablespoons of champagne into the frosting before topping the cupcakes. It added just another hint of champagne flavor. Delish.

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Champagne Cupcakes

(yields approximately 24 cupcakes)

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup sweet champagne (I used Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato Champagne) plus approximately 4 tablespoons to mix with the frosting

6 egg whites

1 container pre-made butter cream frosting

Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with liners. In a large bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer for this) cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Blend flour mixture and champagne, alternating the two ingredients, into the creamed butter and sugar until incorporated.

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In another large bowl (I used my handheld mixer with whisk attachment for this step) beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the batter. Fill cupcake liners until they are approximately 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool.

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When you are ready to frost and decorate, mix approximately 4 tablespoons of champagne into frosting before finishing the cupcakes. Garnish with sprinkles if desired.

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champagne-cupcakes-5I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried this recipe or something similar! While the cupcakes turned out great, I did feel they were a bit on the dense side so I’m open to other recipes or suggestions for the future. Finally, I was not compensated for featuring or using products such as my Kitchen Aid stand mixer (just a proud owner of one) or Barefoot Bubbly (just a wino who likes to swig a little champagne while baking).

Farmers Market Beet Salad

Hey All! I had to share this post I wrote for my other blog, The First Rep. It’s a little blog I’m keeping about my adventures in healthy living and fitness. I realized every once in awhile, I’ll have a “have to share it!” post that may not necessarily be overly related to the purpose of Get Carey’d Away. Although, the more I think about it, the more it probably wouldn’t hurt to sprinkle in a few random bits of commentary because we certainly have a life outside of our house! Enjoy!

The First Rep

Gainesville Florida, where we live, has a pretty active local farming following. From what I can tell, there is a pretty decent small agriculture stronghold in the area and this is reflected through local farmers markets and local restaurants using these ingredients in their menus.

Our new favorite Saturday morning activity is checking out the Haile Village Farmers Market at the Haile Plantation Village Center.

This past Saturday we found a beautiful bunch of Red, Golden, and Chioggia Beets from a local grower. The first thought was a nice cool beet salad. Here’s a recipe:

Farmers Market Beet Salad

1 bunch of fresh beets (about 8 beets including a variety of red, golden, and chioggia beets)

1 pinch of salt

1 dash of pepper

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

Remove the leafy greens from the beets and then rinse the beets well…

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