Holiday cookies: Nana’s Russian tea cookies

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Jody Truitt of Los Angeles was one of the winners of last year’s Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off with this recipe for Nana’s Russian tea cookies.

‘My Nana Ida was born in Russia in 1899 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1904,’ she wrote. ‘When I was a child growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, my nana would come to visit us by ship. She taught us to make these flaky, jam-filled delights rolled in powdered sugar, and we have been baking them for the holidays for over 40 years.’


They’re among the 50 favorite holiday cookie recipes we’ve collected in our ‘Holiday Cookies’ e-book, which is on sale now.

All of them have been vetted by The Times’ Test Kitchen, so you know they work. Download it on the Amazon Kindle, the Nook or via the iBookstore. Or go straight to the source.

Nana’s Russian tea cookies

Total time: 1 hour, plus overnight chilling time for the dough

Servings: About 2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup flour, plus more for rolling

Sifted powdered sugar, for coating the finished cookies

Assorted seedless jams for filling

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, cream cheese and flour and pulse until it forms a soft ball. Halve the ball and sprinkle the halves with flour. Wrap the balls and refrigerate the dough overnight to chill.

2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a baking pan or shallow mixing bowl with powdered sugar to coat the finished cookies.

3. On a heavily floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of one-eighth inch. Cut the dough into 3-inch-thick rounds using a cookie cutter or glass. Spoon about 1 teaspoon jam in the center of each circle. Fold the circle into a moon shape and press the edges closed with your fingers (if the dough won’t seal, wet the edge with a little water to make it sticky). Use a fork to seal the edges completely.

4. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake until set but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then place in the powdered sugar to coat.

Each of 2 dozen cookies: 84 calories; 1 gram protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 5 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 14 mg cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 14 mg sodium.