The Russian tea cake is one of my favorite cookies. Many different recipes exist for treats like these; some are called wedding cookies, and others snowballs. Some use pecans instead of the classic walnuts, and I recently came across a version that used miniature chocolate chips. That sounded delicious to me, so I decided to whip up a batch and add some orange extract for a chocolate-orange hint.
While they are delicious, I think orange zest would have been a better addition to my dough, so that’s what I’ll use next time. I also scaled back the amount of mini chocolate chips in the dough from the original, which recommended a full cup. You could certainly go with that quantity if you like, but I think a half-cup (or maybe three-quarters to split the difference) gives a better balance between the flavor of the dough and the little morsels of chocolate.
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Powdered sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir together flour and salt; set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and orange extracts and beat to combine. Add flour mixture and mix on low until the dough comes together; stir in chocolate chips.
Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are just golden. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, until cookies are easier to handle. Roll in powdered sugar and allow to cool completely on wire racks. Re-roll before storing in an airtight container at room temperature; keep for 2-3 days. Makes about 18 cookies; for a higher yield, use a 1-inch cookie scoop.