Christmas cookies from the Ukraine

In earlier times, cookies such as the following recipe for Rohlichky would be heaped on platters along with other sweets and nuts and would be offered to carolers who went from house to house at holiday times singing ancient Ukrainian carols.

This recipe comes from Anita Borghese's ''The International Cookie Book'' (Charles Scribner's Sons). Rohlichky 1 cup butter 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups flour 2 cups ground walnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease baking sheets. Cream butter in mixing bowl until soft. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, mixing well each time. Add unbeaten egg white and mix well. Add vanilla extract.

Onto a piece of waxed paper sift flour. Gradually add to butter mixture, mixing well each time. Gradually add ground nuts and mix well, either with spoon or with your hands. Roll dough between palms of hands to make balls about 1 inch in diameter. Arrange on baking sheets and bake about 12 minutes.

While cookies are baking sift 1 cup confectioners' sugar into shallow bowl. Remove cookies from oven and baking sheets, and roll in sugar until evenly coated. Set on wire rack to cool. Makes about 5 dozen.

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