Russian Tea Cakes- The Best Holiday Cookie Recipe 15

Russian Tea Cakes Recipe // Being Leanna

Russian Tea Cakes Recipe

Russian Tea Cakes, or butterballs as we call them, are some of my absolute favorite cookies. They’re filled with walnuts and are in nice little bite sized pieces that melt in your mouth. What’s not to love? I’m sure you, or your mom, or your grandmother or all three(!) have a copy of the Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s  staple in any home and it contains some of my favorite cookie recipes of all time. However, I like to put my own little twist on the Russian Tea Cake recipe and I wanted to share it with you all today. They take almost no time at all to make and they’re perfect for the Holidays! 

Russian Tea Cakes Recipe // Being Leanna


12 tbsp salted butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour, sifted

3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

powdered sugar to coat

Russian Tea Cakes Recipe // Being Leanna

Russian Tea Cakes Recipe // Being Leanna


// Preheat your oven to 400°F

// Combine powdered sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. Be sure that your butter is room temperature for this, otherwise it won’t get as smooth and you’ll have chunks of butter in your cookies. Not fun!

// Stir in vanilla. My secret to almost every recipe? Add more vanilla. The original Russian Tea Cake recipe from Betty Crocker (found here for reference) only calls for 1 teaspoon. 

// Slowly add in flour and walnuts, stir until one large ball forms.

// Roll into 1 inch or smaller balls and place on a cookie sheet. They don’t expand so don’t worry about them being too close to each other!

// Bake for 10-13 min. check for the bottom to get golden, they may need more time based on your oven. Mine took 11 minutes.

// Let cool for a couple minutes and then coat in powdered sugar while warm, but not hot. 

// Let them cool and then coat again in more powdered sugar. I prefer to put them all in a bag and shake them up but be gentle! 

// Eat to your little hearts content!

Russian Tea Cakes Recipe // Being Leanna

Russian Tea Cakes Recipe // Being Leanna

ta da!

These babies are perfect for sharing or for gorging on yourself. And, what’s more festive than a cookie that looks like a snowball! I recently made them for a work party and they went like hotcakes! 

Let me know in the comments what your favorite holiday treats are! We’ve still got a little time before Christmas and, i’d love to try a new holiday cookie recipe! If you’re interested in another holiday cookie recipe, check out these Italian cookies!

Thanks For Reading // Being Leanna

Russian Tea Cakes Recipe // Being Leanna

The Best Holiday Gift Guide Roundup- 2016 5

2016 Holiday Gift Guide Roundup // Being Leanna

Happy Cyber Monday!

I am a sucker for a great holiday gift guide. But, I am horrible at creating my own. Everything I can come up with has already been done so today, i’m sharing my favorite gift guides from my favorite bloggers! Definitely check them out and let me know in the comments what you’re wanting most this holiday season in the comments!

2016 Holiday Gift Guide Roundup

Sea Salt Secrets // The Globetrotters Gift Guide

The ultimate gift guide for the travel loving friend/child/parent whatever in your life. I loved everything on this list and am forwarding it to my parents as I type this. The travel scarf is the coolest gift ever, you have to check it out. 

I Heart Organizing // 2016 Blogger Gift Guide

The ultimate one stop shop for gifts this year. Jen and her friends have rounded up all the best stuff this season from fashion to hosting gifts, items for guys and babies and everyone else on your list! The embedded e-magazine has all clickable links to make things even easier! 

How Sweet Eats // Stocking Stuffers & Beauty Lovers

Stocking stuffers are my favorite part about opening presents on Christmas. I could go the rest of my life without presents as long as I got a stocking. They are always so much fun! And Jessica has rounded up some amazing stocking stuffers that i’d love to get. I’m also loving her beauty gift guide this year. It’s the perfect combination of high and low end products where you’re sure to find something for everyone. When in doubt. Buy a beauty blender. They’re to die for.

Life With A View // Female Traveler Gift Guide

Jeannie hits the nail on the head with her gift ideas for the traveler in your life. I know i’d love all of these items. She included a set of lenses for your phone camera which would be great for anyone on your list, not just the traveler. I have a set and i’m in love with them. Plus, that scratch off map is always a cute idea. 

Helene In Between // Girl On The Go Gift Guide & Gift Guide for Coffee Lovers

I’ll say it once and i’ll say it a million times, Helene is one of my favorite bloggers. Her voice is so unique and relate-able. She always has amazing content and pictures and her gift guides are no exception. The first one I linked has so many fantastic ideas that I wouldn’t mind getting all of them. Especially the foil pressed city maps. I want all of them. Speaking of wanting all of them, Helene’s coffee lovers gift guide is fantastic. As a blogger and a coffee drinker I feel its my duty to collect as many coffee mugs as possible and Helene shares some amazing ones. 

Young House Love // Gift Guides for Guys, Gals & Kids

First of all, if you don’t follow John and Sherry’s blog you’re missing out. Second, their gift guide this year is amazing. They’ve included something for everyone and a lot of the items they picked are super inexpensive! Perfect if you’re on a budget, or if you just don’t want to break the bank this holiday season. If for some reason you can’t find something you like in their gift guide, you’ll at least get a giggle out of their commentary when listing the items. Also, you should check out their podcast if you don’t already. It’s great. 

The Drifter Collective // 7 Travel Gifts to Buy Your Wandering Friend

As someone who loves travel I can vouch and say that i’d love any of these gifts. Especially the travel wash bag. It is such a handy idea for anyone that travels, camps or just has a lot of “hand wash” items in their wardrobe. 

Table For Two // Gift Guide For Him

We all struggle to find the right gift for that guy in our lives. Luckily for us Table For Two shared the BEST ideas for any guy in your life. From the Dollar Shave Cub to the new Go Pro and everything in between. Some of those gifts i’d even love for myself!


And that’s it! Everyone and their mother is posting a holiday gift guide so be sure to keep scouring the internet but this group has been my favorites so far this year. Let me know in the comments below your favorite gifts, gift guides or just what you’re lusting over this holiday season!


‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

'Twas The Night Before Christmas // Being Leanna

Happy Christmas Eve!

Today I thought i’d try to be a teensy bit creative and write out my own version of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas. Here goes nothing!


‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, all four cats were stirring, probably even a mouse. The stocking were strewn on the floor with earnest, in hopes that St. Nick wouldn’t get burned by the wood stove. The adult children were cuddled in bed in their onesies, while visions of drawing pads and makeup danced in their heads. And mom in her jammies and Bryan in his slippers, had just retired to bed for a whole lotta ZZZs. When out on the property there arose a howling, I tripped out of bed, rushing to see what was the matter. Stumbling to the window I tripped and fell. Finally opened the blinds and peered into the field. The moon was near full and there was plenty of snow it looked near daylight down below. My curious eyes noticed something appear In the distance a sleigh, and nine reindeer. (We’re counting Rudolph of course)

'Twas The Night Before Christmas // Being Leanna

Alright, enough of that.

Growing up we always go to a party on my dad’s side of the family. There were always a ton of kids there (we’re mostly all grown up now) and even Santa makes an appearance! We all sit on Santa’s lap and get an early Christmas gift. We also do this thing simply called called the “big present”. Basically, it consists of a bunch of little gifts (think hair clips, chocolates, a deck of cards, etc.) all wrapped up one layer of time until you get a giant lump of a gift. All the kids have to sit in a circle and open a layer at a time until we get to the teeny-tiny last gift which was usually a $5 or $10 bill all folded up. The adults even used to hide coal in there too!

Christmas Eve has been spent with my dad ever since my parents got divorced. After the family party presents are exchanged and Bailey’s is drank. After that we go to our mom’s house and celebrate Christmas morning with her and the afternoon with her family.

'Twas The Night Before Christmas // Being Leanna


Wishing you all the happiest Christmas!

Christmas Cocktail Recipes!

Christmas Cocktail Recipes // Being Leanna


❄ Hello Readers! ❄

I am so excited to post some holiday cocktails for you today! Unfortunately, I haven’t made the third drink but it looks pretty darn amazing. My family are what you would call ‘wine people’ and although I do like a mixed drink now and then, I’m more of a beer person. Also, to be perfectly honest, I don’t like oranges.

I have a slight obsession with Fleur of Fleur De Force and if you don’t watch her YouTube videos you’re missing out. Getting to the point here… Fleur and her husband Mike do a show on Saintsbury’s YouTube channel and I want to make everything they cook and mix up. Their most recent episode had these Christmas cocktails and I knew I had to talk about them. So, here goes.

Christmas Cocktail Recipes // Being Leanna

Clementine Prosecco Cocktail


  • 6 Clementines
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Campari to taste
  • Prosecco, to serve.

Instructions: Mix together clementine juice and half lemon with sugar. Bring to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Bubble the mixture on a higher heat until syrupy. Leave to cool, then chill. Pour chilled clementine syrup into champagne flute, followed by a dash of Campari and top with Prosecco. Stir. Enjoy!

Christmas Cocktail Recipes // Being Leanna

Christmas Cheer


  • 6 glazed/candied cherries
  • 1/3 cup Kirsch
  • Prosecco to serve

Instructions: Divide cherries among champagne flutes, pour in Kirsch and then top with Prosecco.

Christmas Cocktail Recipes // Being Leanna

Apple & Berry Buck’s Fizz


  • 1 1/2 cups apple & raspberry juice
  • 6 oranges, squeezed
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine
  • springs of fresh mint

Instructions: Quarter fill 12 champagne flutes with apple/raspberry drink. Squeeze half an orange into each glass and top up with sparkling wine. Garnish with sprigs of mint and serve. Enjoy!

These all look so tasty that I think I could suck it up and handle the oranges and try the third one out. But, I know me and I’ll stick with my usually family drinks. It’s a Christmas tradition to have a glass of Bailey’s on the rocks every Christmas Eve. I know, super classy. Then, on Christmas day we all generally do a lemon drop together. Normally for Christmas dinner I pick a  Riesling  but i’ve never been known to turn down champagne or Prosecco.


Let me know what your favorite Christmas or holiday cocktail is in the comments below!


My “Beautiful” Gingerbread Houses

My "Beautiful" Gingerbread Houses // Being Leanna

❄ Hello Readers! ❄

Let me just start off by saying that there is a pretty boring back story to this so feel free to skip ahead to the pictures. Basically, back in the middle of November when I read Ash’s post for the prompts for Blogmas I immediately started brainstorming ideas for the month. I made a list of what I wanted to write about every day and made a separate list for all the things I’d need to accomplish that stuff. I’m a big list maker.

Anyways, I really wanted to make an awesome gingerbread house and being a fairly decent cupcake decorator, I thought this was right up my alley. Once I get an idea into my head I need to take action immediately. So instead of being patient and waiting for Trader Joe’s gingerbread houses to come out for the winter I opted to get the Wilton brand mini village. Which you’ll notice that my pictures are missing the A frame house. Yeah, that one did not turn out so well. It got trashed instead of photographed.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Wilton, in fact, more than half of my baking supplies are from Wilton and I could spend hours on their website. But, have you ever seen the Trader Joe’s gingerbread kit? It’s amazing. Once I have an idea in my head I need it now is my mentality. So I purchased what I didn’t really want and got this:

Gingerbread Houses:

My "Beautiful" Gingerbread Houses // Being Leanna

When I really wanted this:

My "Beautiful" Gingerbread Houses // Being Leanna

Amazing right? You’d think that professionals did this instead of 2 normal people following instructions. By the way, I stole this picture from my friend Eric’s Instagram. I haven’t told him about the blog yet so thanks Eric! Also, fun story, I bought him and his fiance those kits. I was going to be near Trader Joe’s so I told him I’d stop in and get them for him. Complete fail on my part. I had already gotten the Wilson ones and did not need more gingerbread kits. It’s not like you eat them.

Do you guys eat gingerbread houses? I just make cookies and use the houses for decoration.

My "Beautiful" Gingerbread Houses // Being Leanna

My cookies were fantastic by the way. And much more attractive than the houses.