Russian Tea Biscuits freeze well and are a wonderful treat to bake in cool weather to enjoy anytime. A single recipe makes containers full of wonderful treats to share with family and friends. I like to keep some on hand in the freezer for special company or for those occasions when it is too hot too bake as this summer of 2012. Luckily, I baked a load of the raspberry treats in the early spring. Since I don't bake them as often as I would like, my biggest problem is to remember how much filling to put on each biscuit before I roll it up.
The secret to great tea biscuits is to buy the best filling products, such as the best raspberry jam you can find, as it will be worth the wonderful aroma these biscuits have even after months in the freezer!
My husband prefers pecans to walnuts, thus, I use pecans but walnuts work fine too. I use Smucker's raspberry preserves as preserves are easier to spread than jam and don't try to use jelly, the pastry dough is too delicate!
Turn off your phone and prepare to spend some time making the most wonderful Russian Tea Biscuits. You will not regret it. The dough comes out perfect every time and does not stick to your rolling pin or break as you role up the cinnamon, raspberry preserves, raisins and chopped nuts. I have used orange juice or lemon juice in the dough and both work great!
For those dairy allergic or following Kosher dietary rules for a Parve desert, use a margarine that does not include dairy products. I have used Fleishman's and Mother's margarine for an excellent product. Per its healthful benefits, I prefer using canola oil which tastes great in baked goods.
Here is the recipe and the next time I take some out of the freezer, I will post a picture, enjoy!
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3/4 cup sugar, note: (you will also need a few tablespoons of extra sugar for the biscuit tops)
Make a well and add the liquid ingredients:
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup margarine melted
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 whole eggs plus, note: you will need an extra egg white as a dip for the rolled biscuit dough.
Mix the above and knead for ten minutes until the dough forms a soft ball. Divide into quarters if making the normal size biscuits. Roll each quarter of the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and add filing of red raspberry preserves, raisins, nuts and cinnamon. Try not to over stuff the roll with filling but you can use as much or as little as you like. Please note that if you use too much raspberry, the roll might leak yummy juice in the oven. Roll up the stuffed roll like a jelly roll.
Spread the top of the roll with egg white and dip the roll in granulated sugar before you cut the roll into slices as it is much easier this way (I can verify that it is time consuming and tedious to cut the roll into serving pieces and dip each piece into the egg white and granulated sugar). Cut the roll into one inch slices and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.Share with your best friends and your favorite cup of tea.