Working on this makeover of a classic Russian Tea Cake made Bridget Klein feel closer to her late sister, Gina, because they are “a great match for her personality: delicate and refined, pretty to look at, and yet a definite character that inspires adoration and loyalty.” Gina's middle name, Sarah, means “princess,” in Hebrew; hence the name of these confections. Klein's mom “swore these cookies couldn't be made without butter,” she says, “until she tasted them.” Klein continues: “Gina was a traditionalist, too, but I think I might have been able to fool her with these.”

Bridget Klein
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2007


Recipe Summary

2 hrs
Nutrition Profile:


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Pour oil into a medium bowl. Whisk all-purpose flour, white whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, cornstarch and salt in another bowl.

  • Mix half the dry ingredients into the oil by spoonfuls. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients by spoonfuls until thoroughly combined. (The mixture will resemble creamed butter and brown sugar.) Stir in nuts.

  • Roll the dough into 1-inch balls; place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

  • Bake the cookies until just set, being careful not to let the bottoms get too brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

  • When the cookies are still warm, but no longer hot, roll them in the remaining 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar and place them back on the rack to continue cooling. (Reserve the sugar.) When the cookies are completely cool, roll them in the sugar again.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the dough (Steps 2 and 3), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Roll in the second coating of confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Storage smarts: To extend the life of your baked goods, store them in an airtight container in a single layer or between layers of parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Nutrition Facts

103 calories; protein 1.1g; carbohydrates 10.9g; dietary fiber 0.6g; sugars 4.2g; fat 6.3g; saturated fat 0.5g; vitamin a iu 1.4IU; folate 15.7mcg; calcium 2.4mg; iron 0.6mg; magnesium 3.9mg; potassium 18.5mg; sodium 8.3mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 4g.

Reviews (3)

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6 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 1 stars
Don't bother....make the original As a Registered dieititian with a PHD in Food Science I anticipated a poor product but thought I'd give it a try based on a positive review from above. However as expected the dough was crumbly and very difficult to roll into a ball. Cookie becomes oily wet in a day and the powdered sugar doesn't look powdery. Having to roll it again in powdered sugar right before serving is a hassle. Taste is bland. Just make the regular tea cakes using butter and you have a perfect product. TIP: Just eat one though! Pros: Can't think of any Cons: Taste is poor gets wet in a day Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Has anyone tried using beans instead of oil? Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I have been including these cookies as one of my annual Christmas cookies for years and they have attained star status among all who receive a tin. In fact I think that we unanimously feel that these are better than the originals -- less dense more nutty. My tip for all those naysayers out there is to store them in a container with a decent amount of powdered sugar. I typically do single layers of cookies separated by a layer of parchment and enough powdered sugar to cover/mostly cover the cookies. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Surprisingly authentic! I never thought that you could make a cookie that tasted like a Russian tea cake snowball whatever you call them that didn't require scads of butter. This recipe is surprisingly authentic-tasting with the substitution of white whole wheat flour and oil. Try them; you won't be disappointed! Pros: relatively healthy very tasty Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Has anyone tried using beans instead of oil? Has anyone tried using beans instead of oil? Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Not the best... My 2 princess and I just made these. The taste isn't the best. Hoping as they set they will taste better. Not sure what one could do to make it taste better. Pros: look beautiful Cons: don't have the best taste Read More