Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pasha's Christmas Cookies

Moscow Basilica
Strange but true: I've worked full-time, for ten years, with a man I've never met or even spoken to. That's because he lives in Moscow and neither one of us feel like affording that long distance bill.

We freelance together. He's my designer/programmer. I email him junk, he emails me stuff, somehow we put it all together and make it look pretty. (Long live the internet.)

I've never met him, but I did meet one of his co-workers a few years back. We taught Costya how to talk 'Midwesterner' ~ the secret meanings of those unique terms... such as thingamajig and whatchamacallit. In the beginning, when I asked Pasha to 'schnoodle' the design a bit he thought we were off our rockers. 'Twas a happy day and a nice breakthrough when he started speaking Minnesotan. :)

Every year, I send Pasha a Christmas card. He never gets them but I keep sending them anyway. I figure, if Putin stays in power long enough he might figure out how to make his postal service work. Until then, I imagine the KGB is compiling a huge secret file on my strange activities...

Russian Snowball Cookie Recipe - Makes 3 dozen
(Российский Рецепт Печенья Снежка)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
How To:
  1. Cream butter and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Combine powdered sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture.
  3. Mix in the chopped walnuts.
  4. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes @ 350 degrees F.
  6. When cool, roll in a second dusting of powdered sugar.
* Dough will appear very dry. The warmth of your hands, as you form the snowballs, softens the butter and moistens the cookie dough.

This is my 3rd most favorite cookie in the whole wide world. Whenever I make them, I think of my buddy, P. They melt in your mouth, light as air. If I could stop eating them long enough to put them in a box, I'd probably send him some.

С Рождеством Христовым, Пол. Я надеюсь, что Вы любите это печенье столько, сколько я делаю!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate~~ These look similar to Pecan Sandies--one of my favorites. You're making my mouth water!

jan said...

I learned to make these cookies in 7th grades foods class. We called them "Russion Tea Cakes", but they are the same.

ps. I am sure he does like them - who wouldn't!

Kate said...

Hi, Grace and Merry Christmas! I think the taste is very similar... As in quite yummy :)

Kate said...

Merry Christmas, Jan! Yup -- We called them the same thing. Have you noticed that down here they call them Mexican Wedding Cakes?

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Kate,
I had to laugh about your relationship with your long distance co-worker. My sister has a side business with a man in England who she bought part of his business from, where they make travel arrangements for people to vacation in Africa. It's not going well for her, because she isn't as active in it as her partner wants her to be. She recently got married, and was thinking about getting out of the business arrangement, but hasn't so far. I'm glad your arrangement is more amicable.

Oh, I just found Lavender Cottage and saw her squirrel from a few posts ago. When I went to write a comment, I saw that you had asked her if she knew my blog. This blogging community is fun! Thanks for mentioning me!

Anonymous said...

I was going to say they're like Mexican Wedding Cakes but you beat me to the punch! Whatever you call 'em -- they're mmmm good!

Now, I want to hear the story of how you came to work with a man who lives in Russia. :)

Sherry Pitcock said...

This is so refreshing. I am loving your blog. I am new to Park City (3 years from CA) and find gardening here to be a constant learning process. My tomatoes don't ripen, but I have an amazing abundance of peonies and lilacs. Then there is the 6 months of snow. Thank goodness for winter sports. I guess I can try making Christmas cookies.

Shady Gardener said...

Kate, What an interesting work situation. Intriguing. ;-) I'm familiar with Russian Tea Cakes, too... as well as the Pecan Sandies. I'm going to have to compare those recipes! Merry Christmas to you!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Kate. The KBG just wants your cookie recipes ;-)
Looks so yummy.
Merry Christmas to you.

Kate said...

Hi, Sue and Merry Christmas!

Yes, we all seem to get along pretty well. I don't know what I'd do without Pasha's technical know how :) he bails me out of jams quite often!

I love this blogging community, too. I've met some great new bloggers from visiting your site.

Kate said...

Hi, Bookworm!

A decade ago it was lots harder to find affordable web developers so my biz partner and I got to know a couple of crazy Russians through the Internet World Trade Shows. And, we're still locking horns over design ideas ten years later. ;-)

Kate said...

Hi, Sherry!

So nice to meet another Park City gardener. Let's yak next spring -- I know of a few heirloom tomato varieties that actually ripen up here in the mountains!

Kate said...

Hi, Shady and Merry Christmas to you, too! I guess as long as you're working via email it doesn't really matter where your co-workers are from. Though, I still hope to officially 'meet' P some day... :))

Kate said...

Hi, Lona and Merry Christmas! Perhaps that's the answer - world peace through yummy cookie recipes...

Anonymous said...

Wow, that last line is so cool! I am always amazed at the keyboards that produce such symbols. That is one of my favorite cookies too, not too heavy, just the right sweetness. What a wonderful tale about your coworkers. And funny about your cards not getting there, not really funny but sometimes we laugh to keep from crying.


Kate said...

Happy Holidays, Frances! That last line (in bad Russian) is just a little season's greetings note to P in case he's visiting the blog. :)

joey said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely post and wonderful cookie recipe, Kate, a favorite of mine. Warm wishes for the merriest of holidays and Happy Winter Solstice!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I can't believe I almost missed this post! My jaw dropped when I saw a beautiful St.Basil Cathedral' picture. I saw that place so many times when studied in Moscow. As for the cards to Russia, I'd say that 99% of my cards reach my friends. Do you write the address in Russian or English? Writing it in Russian should help! Now, I just must try those cookies! I won't tell my husband about butter. These Americans are so health-concerned, ha-ha! Thank you Kate for this post and for commenting on my blog! Счастливого Рождества и с Новым Годом!

Kate said...

Привет, Tatanya!

Thanks for the good tip on writing the cards in Russian! Never considered that since I'm nervous about my handwriting in that language. It's complicated...

Счастливое Рождество к Вам, также! Спасибо за захождение. (This should say Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping by the blog --- just in case I really screwed it up! :))

Kate said...

Merry Christmas, Joey! Here's to a fun-filled holiday and a Happy New Year where we get to test all sorts of your yummy recipes.

Kate said...

PS to Tatyana;
I agree! Americans are far too health conscious! Which is silly because we're all fat and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Perhaps we should simply throw in the towel and eat lots of tea cakes. :D