My Russian tea cookies, also known as Mexican wedding cookies, are actually a form of a jumble, a pastry common in England during the middle ages, but are still enjoyed throughout Russia and the United States during the holidays. Rolled in powdered sugar while they are still hot, they end up looking like little snow balls after the sugar melts on contact with the warm cookies while the subsequent layers of sugar coats them into a perfect powdery orb. Traditional versions of these celebratory cookies don't call for majooli dates, but I added them here not just for their added sweetness, but for their unmistakable mouth feel.
1 cup (2 stick2) cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar + more for dusting
1/2 cup almond meal
1 3/4 cup Blackbird Bakery Cookie Jar Blend
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup majooli dates, finely chopped
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients. Mix to combine. Add the unsalted butter and mix until it looks like wet sand. Add the vanilla, pecans and dates and mix on high until the dough folds in on itself and is soft to the touch. Transfer to a glass bow, cover with cello and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F and remove dough from the fridge.
Using a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scooper, form your dough into balls, roll until smooth between your palms and then place on a cookie sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silpat, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 7-10 minutes. The cookies should be golden around the base and just barely tinted on top.
Remove from the oven and immediately dust with powdered sugar. Allow to cool completely and then roll the cookies in more powdered sugar.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.
Will keep in an airtight container for a week and a half.