Blizzard of 2010 = Shoveling & Russian Tea Cookies

It was an exciting, cold, back breaking weekend in Minneapolis. In total we got hit with 17.5″ of snow in 24 hours, ranking the fourth largest snow storm in the Twin Cities’ history. In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed two of these largest snow storms – the last one was in 1991 dubbed the “Halloween Blizzard” dumping 36″ over a four day span. The snow started falling the night of Halloween and I remember it well because that was the year (I was 9), I dressed as a bunch of grapes, meaning my mom blew up two dozen purple balloons and attached them via string to a purple sweatsuit. By the time I got home, I was a bunch of raisins. The snowfall left everyone unable to leave their home unless they had cross country skis, which over this weekend, we saw again. Last Friday when the predictions came in to get 12″-20″ of snow, I ran to Target, Pet Smart and the grocery store to get ready for two full days of being house bound. While some meals were uneventful (on Saturday, Frank and I took turns every couple of hours to maintain the shoveling), I did make Russian Tea Cakes, a childhood holiday cookie favorite. But first, here are some pictures of the backyard and neighborhood to get a sense of being snowed in.

The animals, couped up with nothing to do but stare out the window.


Russian Tea Cookies
Adapted and modified from Bon Appetit, 1990

In a mixer, cream on high speed 2 sticks of butter until fluffy. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until mixed, then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Once incorporated, add 2 cups of flour, a dash of salt and once thickened and dough-like, add 3/4 cups of finely chopped (toasted) hazelnuts.

Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to 12 hours. To bake, turn oven to 375 and begin rolling dough into 1″ balls. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookie is slightly golden brown (do not overcook – these cookies are better undercooked). Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes, then roll in powdered sugar. Roll them again in powdered sugar once they have thoroughly cooked, before storing in air tight container.

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