I think my favorite part of being in Girl Scouts as a child was cookie selling season.
Being so small and cute, all I had to do to sell boxes and boxes of cookies was to write a nice little note to go with the gargantuan cookie order forms, which my parents diligently brought to their workplaces in order to sucker their coworkers and friends into buying from. But I didn’t care about any of that work. I was in it for the product, all the way.
Most people say their favorite Girl Scout cookies are Samoas, but I’ve never really saw their appeal. If I never ate another Samoa in my life, I probably wouldn’t be that sad. They’re too sweet anyways. I had my two favorites. My first was, and still is, the Tagalong. Crunchy, chocolatey and peanut butter-y, this cookie couldn’t be beat. Factor in the scarcity created by my dad usually taking care of most of the box before I’d come along, and it’s no surprise why I always looked forward to a fresh shipment of Tagalongs.
My other favorite was a little more short-lived. For a little while during my cookie-selling period, there used to be a cookie called Ole Ole, which tasted like little Russian teacake cookies with a hint of coconut. They were so simple and so powdery, and they didn’t even have chocolate, and for some reason I fell in love with them.
But the problem with falling in love is the part when your heart gets broken, which hurts even more when you’re so young. Ole Oles were only sold between 2001 and 2003, so at the tender age of 10, I found out that, like humans, cookies are also mortal. Facing a future without my favorite new powdery dessert was very sad, but my mom had the best solution ever: We would just make them ourselves.
Russian teacakes have been a few-times-a-year staple in my home since then, and even though I no longer can enjoy Ole Ole cookies from Little Brownie Bakers, I can enjoy something pretty darn close that I can make myself any time of the year.
Adapted from “Russian Tea Cakes” in the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 dash salt
3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
Powdered sugar to coat
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large bowl.
3. Fold in flour, salt and nuts.
4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, and place them a couple inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 8-9 minutes, or until firm but not yet brown.
6. Immediately after removing from the oven, coat with powdered sugar. Coat again after cooling on a wire rack for 30 minutes.