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Buckwheat Holiday Russian Tea Cookies

My absolute favorite time of year is from mid-November until early January.
It all kicks off the week before Thanksgiving. I love the hustle and bustle at the grocery stores. For most, the madness of long lines and overfilled shopping carts is a dreaded nightmare, but for me it’s a rush of adrenaline. I just picture all of the families getting ready for one of the most delicious, fun meals of the year. Once we have our turkey fix, during the next day my entire immediate family heads to our vacation house for the Michigan Ohio State game. It has been a few sad years since Michigan has won that game, but nonetheless, it’s an incredible weekend. Everyone contributes to each well-planned out meal, and the best part is we all get to sit around a huge table eating it together. This is something very much appreciated by someone who lives in a small apartment in the city.

Then, its December. I just love the way the entire city lights up. Trees on sale on every corner in Brooklyn, gorgeous house decorations in the suburbs, and non-stop Christmas music on XM Radio. This cant be just me, right? I was raised Jewish and I still know every word to almost every Christmas song.

December is such a fun time in the kitchen. Unlike the summer when we tend to throw everything on the grill, in the winter, it’s long stews, braises and of course dessert!!  This year, I decided to make some Russian Tea Cakes with my kids, and boy did we have a blast. This recipe is adapted from Food52 with some changes to make them vegan. I also did not have rice flour, so I just increased the buckwheat and oats. The cookies came out delicious.


Yields about 24 cookies


130g Walnuts

100g Buckwheat (you can use flour, i just put the whole groats in the blender)

80g Oats (also can buy flour, I used gluten free rolled oats)

100g sugar

¼ tsp salt

⅛ tsp baking soda

60g vegan butter (i used my favorite Miyokos)

170g Sun Butter sunflower butter

3 tbls water

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325F.

Combine walnuts, buckwheat, oats, sugar, salt and baking soda in a blender. I used my favorite handy dandy Vitamix. Blend on medium for about 30 seconds. If it starts to get stuck, just use a spatula to loosen things up. Add vegan butter, sun butter, water and vanilla. Blend until fully incorporated.

(The original recipe called for chilling the dough for 24 hours. I made half of the dough right out of the blender and the other half the next morning. I did not see a difference.)

Using a cookie scooper, scoop the dough carefully onto a prepared sheet tray. Be careful as its a bit crumbly. Make sure to pat it into that scooper,

Bake for 20 minutes.

If you are planning to fill the cookies with jam, immediately make little thumbprints in the middle with the back of a small spoon.

Once fully cooked, fill the thumbprints with jam, sprinkle some powdered sugar, and enjoy!

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