Russian tea balls

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2¼ cup All-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Salt
2 cups Sifted confectioner's sugar
¾ cup (3 ounces) chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

1. Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl combine the butter with ½ cup of the confectioner's sugar; beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 1 minute. With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, flour, salt and walnuts to form a stiff dough.

3. Using about 2 teaspoons of dough for each cookie, shape half the dough by rolling between hands. Place about 1½ inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake about 12 minutes, until just pale golden on the bottom.

4. Meanwhile, sift ½ cup of the remaining confectioner's sugar into a 13 by-9-inch pan. As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, use a spatula to transfer them to the sugar, tossing them around to coat; let the cookies cool completely in the sugar and then sift ¼ cup more sugar over them to coat.

5. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough, using a cool baking sheet to bake them and the remaining ¾ cup confectioner's sugar, divided as before, to coat.

Makes 4 to 5 dozen

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