I just found out today that my cousin, with whom I spent every day of my childhood, is pregnant! She got married last June, and had a beautiful reception at a private estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I’m elated to hear the news, because for as long as I can remember, my cousin has been dying to be a mother. It seemed as though she was born with the maternal instinct, and I know she’s going to make an amazing mom. I’m already thinking of baby shower ideas for her, even though the shower won’t take place for at least 6 months. My cousin is very Martha Stewart. She’s crafty, everything she makes in the kitchen is gorgeous, and she takes small details into consideration. So I know her baby shower will be the same way. For her favors, I imagine she would want to give something homemade, and beautifully packaged. I remember, growing up, she and her sister made the most delicious Russian tea cakes. I can’t imagine a better favor than a few of those inside a Flower Box. Here’s a recipe for the yummy, little, white cookies. I grabbed this recipe off of epicurious.com. You can find other recipes for homemade treats online, or if you have a family recipe, even better. Just wrap it up in something nice, and voila! A perfect favor for any occasion.
RUSSIAN TEA CAKES
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup finely chopped husked hazelnuts, toasted
Sift flour and salt together. Using electric mixer, cream butter in large bowl until light. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients in 3 batches. Mix in hazelnuts. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Space 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until just firm to touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. Roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely. Roll cookies in powdered sugar again. Store in airtight container.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.