The Russian Cookie

Short History of a Sweet Traveler

According to some food historians, these confections first appeared in Imperial Russia in the 18th century as part of a tea-sharing ceremony enjoyed by Russian nobility. By the 20th century, the cookies were already part of wedding and festival traditions in a surprising number of countries.

Within two centuries, the delicious melt-in-your mouth, shortbread-like cookies somehow had managed to become known as Russian Cookies(or Tea Cakes), Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nut, Southern Pecan Butterball, Snowdrop, Viennese Sugar Ball, Sand Tarts, Snowball, and , last but not least as the Mexican Wedding Cookies.

Russia and Sweden and, at one time, Austria, shared borders. With that and the occasional blue-blooded marriage, it would have been no wonder if the Cookie had travelled a bit around Europe. Speculation must enter its “Mexican connection”, though. Whether it was the short-lived reign of an Austrian prince as Emperor of Mexico in the 19th century or contemporary Russian trading  posts in California, that lead to the cookie’s Mexican appearance, we shall never know.

We at Russian Cookie House, however, first met the globe-trotting confection under its “Russian” name and that was fine with us since we have dedicated ourselves to spreading the classic confection tastes of Europe.