Russian tea cakes melt in your mouth

wbaizeCookiesAlmond5These are hands-down one of the most popular and easiest holiday cookies to make. Some call them Russian tea cakes, others describe them as Mexican wedding cookies, and still others know them as Greek Christmas cookies.  I just know they are meltingly delicious.  

I make this in a food processor which makes it a snap as well as very easy to clean up. I usually make the cookies with almonds but I have used walnuts and pecans. All versions are very delicious. 

Preheat oven to 350F/175C

Chop by pulsing, so that it will not grind:

¾ cup almonds or walnuts

Add 1 cup/227 grams of softened butter

1  Tbsp .  / 28 grams good vanilla extract

¾ cup/90 grams icing sugar

 Beat until fluffy

 

Mix in 3¼ to 3½ cups /about 330 grams of all-purpose of flour

 

Add the flour until the dough is stiff but not overly dry — the amount will slightly vary according to the brand of flour you use.

Bake a test cookie to see if it holds its shape. If not, add a bit more flour.

 

Line two baking sheets with parchment

 

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and slightly flatten. Space them about 1½ inches apart. 

Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Only the edges should begin to brown.

Cool. 

Roll the cooled cookies in icing sugar. 

Note: Parchment works better than silicone baking mats for these cookies. I flip and reuse the paper several times. I also chill the cookie sheets between batches and chill the dough before and between baking for lighter cookies. 

If you want to make the cookies in advance, store them in an air-tight container; the high butter content will help them keep for weeks. But if you are not careful — they will get eaten! 

The other cookies on the plate are Italian pine nut Amoretti, another holiday favourite. The recipe for these marzipan delights will be forthcoming.

 

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No one asks you to skip a class

tea 4cHave you ever noticed that many people consider your time to work out flexible or even disposable?  If a friend or colleague wants to book a meeting during your yoga or mind-body class many of them have no problem suggesting you “skip” your class.  And if you planned a solitary session at the gym, heaven help you if you expect most people to respect your schedule. After all it, you were “just” going to the gym. 

That is why I stopped telling most people where I am going. My neighbours and friends at the hotel where I take my classes know my schedule, but few others do, and it is no one’s business unless I decide to tell. If pressed I will say I have a “class.” Both statements are true as my preferred workout is a yoga or barre class. But, it is funny how no one asks me to skip a “class” or to “do it later.” 

Getting into a regular fitness regime is hard enough without sabotage!  My husband is all for my régime and will push me out the door for class. But over the years I have learned I need to vigilantly defend my schedule as there is always someone who wants to adjust it for their own convenience. 

Darlings, what you do with your time is your own business, if you are not on someone else’s clock. image_1364151078389522

The holidays are less than two months away!  Have you started your shopping?  Let me help you. We can mail beautiful pearls for you wrapped with a card anywhere in the U.S. or Canada for much less than you might think.  My pearls are all real and fabulous. They are comparable to what you can buy for hundreds of dollars and more elsewhere. You can see them, and me demonstrating them, on our latest YouTube videos. Check them out:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugbX-fvMjeE

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m06G40AHvvA

 

www.luxuryofpearls.com. Feel free to email me any questions. graceyatl@att.net

 

We can mail beautiful pearls wrapped with card to anyone on your list.

 

domore@dolcedolce.com . DolceDolce is free. And please forward us to all your friends. And please follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/dolcedolcec#om/215363998481866.  We post new items and tips almost regularly. And please give us your comments by emailing us at the same address or sharing in Facebook – we will respond! We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!

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Gracey Hitchcock

Editor

 

Photo by: www.yanka.ca

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Rich experiences!

Darlings, all year we bring you hints, lists and how-tos to help you feel better and look fabulous. We will be back with them in the New Year.  But for now darlings, just celebrate!   Savour this special with family and friends.   Luxuriate in time together. Darlings, life is short so make it sweet. Embroider the tapestry of time with rich experiences.
 
DolceDolce.com will resume our regular weekly publishing schedule on January 10, 2013!
 
Until next week, please sign-up if you haven’t already; email your info to domore@dolcedolce.comDolceDolceis free. And please forward us to all your friends. And please give us your comments by emailing us at the same address. We want to know what you think. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/dolcedolcecom/215363998481866 Look for our logo! Let’s start the conversation!
 Gracey Hitchcock
 
 
 
 
Gracey Hitchcock
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© DolceDolce® 2012
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“Minting” tradition

Darlings, I adore tradition. No one likes a Currier and Ives holiday more than me – but moving about as we have, I have learned to appreciate the joy of “minting” new traditions. I cherish all my memories of growing up with traditional New England Christmases. In Montréal, I grew to appreciate the many traditions of that wonderful old city as we celebrated with family and fiends. It maybe cold, but there a few sights more beautiful than Montreal glittering with holiday lights and fresh snow.

 
I adored our big holiday parties in Moscow! And it may sound crazy, but some of my most romantic Christmases have been spent in Bangkok, in the tropical heat. We would spend the evening at the Oriental Hotel at their poolside party. The evening would end with a dancing and a fabulous fireworks display. My husband and I remember fondly last year, when we spent the evening at a wonderful Thai restaurant in Atlanta.  We always miss absent friends – that’s the drawback of moving often, but we learn to enjoy a new place in new way. So darlings, wherever you are, I encourage you to add sweetness to your celebrations by minting a new tradition.
 
Until next week, please sign-up if you haven’t already or email your info to domore@dolcedolce.com and I’ll do it for you! DolceDolceis free. And please forward us to all your friends. And please give us your comments by emailing us at the same address. We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!
 
 
 
 
Gracey Hitchcock
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© DolceDolce® 2010
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Bask in the glow

Darlings, the holidays can be beautiful. Get out and see the lights, bask in the glow. Meet a friend or lover (maybe you married him) and take a walk. Plan fun things to do; pick your favourite tradition and relish it. Decorate like a fiend, or bake up a storm. If you bake, share your bounty.  Maybe throw an impromptu drinks party with a friend to keep the work light. Pamper yourself with home spa treatments every night between Christmas Eve and New Year’s! Celebrate and be sure to include anyone left out of the warmth. Happy holidays my darlings – and sparkle plenty! 
Until next week, please sign-up if you haven’t already – DolceDolceis free. And please forward us to all your friends. And please give us your comments by clicking the “comment” link at the end of each item. We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation! We will resume after our holiday break and the New Year !
 
 
 
Gracey Hitchcock
Editor
Photo by: www.yanka.ca
 
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