The New Russian Tea Cakes, Two Ways

December  1, 2014

The dough for these flavorful, melt-in-your mouth cookies is based on that for the iconic Russian Tea Cake. (Arguably these are Extra-Russian Tea Cakes, what with the buckwheat flour and all...) 

You may serve them simply dusted with powdered sugar, like traditional RTCs, or poke each cookie gently with a stick (or wooden spoon handle), while it’s still hot, to make “thumbprints” to fill with jam. How’s that for versatile?

Volume measures are given for all ingredients, although measuring with scale is not only easier, but more apt to get you the best results possible.

Shop the Story

Buckwheat Thumbprint Cookies with Cherry Preserves

This recipe is inspired by the recipes in my latest book, Flavor Flours (Artisan, 2014)

Makes 36 to 40 cookies

1 1/3 cups (130 grams) walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons (70 grams) buckwheat flour
2/3 cup (65 grams) oat flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (55 grams) white rice flour, preferably superfine, or 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (55 grams) Thai* rice flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda  
1/4 cup (60 grams) cream cheese, cold, cut in chunks 
6 tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter, slightly softened, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoons vanilla
Powdered sugar for dusting
About 1/4 cup (80 grams) cherry preserves

Get the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

*Thai rice flour is even finer than superfine flour and weighs less per cup, so you need a greater volume to get 55 grams.


Get excited about Alice's new book Flavor Flours: nearly 125 recipes -- from Double Oatmeal Cookies to Buckwheat Gingerbread -- made with wheat flour alternatives like rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, and teff (not only because they're gluten-free, but for an extra dimension of flavor, too).

Photos by Mark Weinberg

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

1 Comment

Julie W. December 2, 2014
Love the volume measurements! Wish Food52 would give volume for all recipes ! Loved the No-Peel AppleCrisp ( which I made gluten& dairy free ) , the No-Pie Pumpkin Pie and the Pumpkin Chiffon Cake ! Thanks for the end of gluten free baking using " worse than white flour GF mixes " and the beginning of using real flours to make really great GF desserts . I have made a lot of heavy almond flour or disgusting baking mix stuff . I am not even gluten-free anymore but I have a lot of family members who are and still prefer not to eat much White Flour etc. I am going to try these with dark chocolate Non - pareils which is my favorite cookie .