I’ve tried four times now to find the proper opening to this entry. Call it a tribute to my feelings for these cookies. Of any sweet in the world, these are the particular combination of flour, sugar, and love that not only make me quiver in anticipation but make me want to dash into the kitchen to sneak one while they’re still too hot to eat. (Not something I recommend. While hot, these little delights are culinary napalm!)
When I was little these cookies were usually reserved for holidays. More than likely, that’s because a single batch would have been demolished by the rest of the household before my mother had a chance to pull the last tray from the oven, and unlike other confections, they’re rather intensive on the baker’s fingers, so were only made when the effort required would achieve the full “Ooooh and Ahhhh” benefits that they deserved.
I’ve mentioned my Aunt Thelma before. She was always a joy to be around, and one of the true matriarchs of my family. For me, these are her legacy. Far more than just a snack, they’re full of memories of family gatherings and laughter, or afternoons sitting across the lunch counter in Thelma’s Kitchen on the Sonoma Plaza listening to my Aunt recant tales of her childhood in Oklahoma.
I hope that my little version did her proud. Anything less just wouldn’t be right.
Without further ado, I give you Thelma’s Tea Cookies,
Also called Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes, this recipe varies from the norm because of a lack of butter in the mixture. The result is the lightest and airiest of all the variations of this treat I have ever had, and one that I’m asked to make quite often.
Really Thelma, you ruined me for any version made with butter, ever!
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 81Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
Nothing. I would sooner change my family name than change this recipe. It’s one of the definitive recipes of my family, and I intend to teach my kids how to make them as well.
That way I won’t be the only Russell boy that ever got in trouble for mumbling “I didn’t take one!” around a mouthful of crumbling cookie goodness with a face covered in powdered sugar.
Here’s to you, Thelma.