The recipe I have used for Russian Tea Cakes, (Mexican Wedding Cakes, etc.) over many years is from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book from the early 60’s.
These are quick to mix up, but do need to chill as they are mostly butter and will spread otherwise. The messy part is rolling them in powdered sugar twice, but they are worth the mess. I have made them and rolled them in colored large flake sugar though we like them best rolled in the white powdered sugar. I always use pecans as that is what I buy for nuts. However, walnuts would work just as well.
This recipe uses powdered sugar in the cookie dough and to roll them in. The powdered sugar in the cookie dough gives you a melt in your mouth cookie.
Note that it calls for sifted powdered sugar in the dough, this means to sift before measuring, If it said 1/2 cup powdered sugar sifted then you would measure and sift afterwards. Where in the directions the word sifted comes tells you which to do.
If you are going to the work of making cookies, always use the best ingredients you can afford. Real butter if the recipe calls for it instead of margarine and real vanilla instead of imitation. The cost difference for purchased cookies will still be more than making them from scratch with good ingredients.
Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter (Butter works best here)
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Mix butter, sugar and vanilla thoroughly. Measure flour and stir in the salt. Blend into the butter mixture. Mix in nuts. Chill dough.
Heat oven to 400°. Roll dough into 1 inch balls or use small cookie scoop. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Cookies do not spread so you can put them closer together.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes till set, but not brown. While still warm roll in powdered sugar, cool and roll in sugar again. Makes about 4 dozen