My paternal grandmother had a great sweet tooth – I think she happily could have lived on sweets alone. When we gathered a year ago for her memorial service I took the opportunity to bake in her honor and share my tribute with my family.

This is a take on a traditional Russian Tea Cake (see Talia’s Russian Tea Cakes) which was one of my grandmother’s favorites but I decided to make it tropical – swapping pecans for macadamia nuts and adding lime zest to commemorate her beloved years of living in southern Florida. I had always thought of these cookies as Christmas cookies but by making these changes I think you can get away with serving them all year long.

I know that my grandmother would have loved these – her descendants certainly did! I’m sure there are some moms out there who would enjoy these for Mother’s Day.

Tropical Tea Cakes













Tropical Tea Cakes
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Makes 2-1/2 dozen
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • zest from two limes
  • About ⅓ cup additional powdered sugar for coating
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy and fully mixed.
  3. Slowly add flour to creamed mixture, blend thoroughly
  4. Add nuts and lime zest. Mix well.
  5. Chill dough for 1 hour.
  6. Shape into 1-inch balls and bake 8-10 minutes. Place about an inch apart on the cookie sheet – they don't "melt" much so it's okay if they are close. Do not brown – dough will look uncooked when ready.
  7. Cool and then roll in powdered sugar.
* Recipe can easily be doubled and fits well into a 4.5 quart KitchenAid stand mixer.
* Cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Layer between parchment paper or waxed paper in a freezer-safe container.
* If I'm putting these in a bag with other cookies as a gift, I like to put them first in a small bag and then add that small bag to the larger bag which I fill with the remaining cookies. That way the powdered sugar doesn't get all over the other cookies.




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2014-05-05T09:03:15+00:00 May 4th, 2014|Categories: Desserts|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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