The Volkov Twins and The Christmas Cookies
By Caryn Moya Block
While snow fell outside coating the ground in a blanket of white, inside the Siberian Alpha’s lodge a different kind of snow fell as Katya, Karina, and Illarion make Christmas cookies for the Alpha and his mate.
“Babushka – Grandma, Illarion is going too fast. I can’t keep up with him,” five year old Karina complained glaring at Illarion, the boy who in the future would be her twin sister Katya’s mate. The three of them stood around the table in the kitchen. Karina’s grandmother, Yelena, looked over, but went back to playing with their new baby sister, Vera.
“Me do, me do,” their three year old little brother Rurik demanded as he jumped up and down at the edge of the table. His dark hair fell around his face while his blue eyes begged to be included. Illarion winked at Rurik.
“Rurik,” Yelena called. “Could you get me the diaper bag? Vera needs changing.” The little boy ran to his grandmother across the room.
She whispered something in his ear and he grinned widely before scampering off to find the bag full of diapers.
“You don’t have to be so exacting, Karina. Just roll the cookie in the sugar,” Illarion said, leaning over to plop another ball into the bowl of powdered sugar.
“It has to be evenly coated. You wouldn’t want a cookie only partially covered.” Karina dipped her fingers back into the bowl of sugar and rolled the cookie balls around making sure each one was dusted. “It has to be done properly! Katya, tell him.” Karina looked at her twin sister, hoping for back up.
“Karina,” Katya sighed, “Would you like me to help you with the powdered sugar?” Katya took the sugar covered balls out of the bowl and set them in rows on the cooking sheets.
“No, I can do it. I want to surprise Mom and Dad when they get back. Mom said Russian Tea Cakes are her favorite Christmas cookies.”
Illarion wrinkled his nose. Katya glanced over at him and chuckled.
Karina frowned wondering if they spoke telepathically to each other. It was hard sharing Katya with the older Illarion. He was so irritating at times, acting like he knew better than Karina what her twin was thinking. Katya was her sister.
“What? You don’t like Russian Tea Cakes?” Karina asked.
“I like all the food that comes out of this kitchen, isn’t that right, Yelena?” Illarion asked, walking over to the sink and washing his hands.
Karina looked over and realized that only a few cookies were left to be dusted. Katya pulled over one more cooking sheet and began to fill it.
“Oh, yes, Illarion. You eat everything.” Yelena wrapped the baby back up in a blanket and then kissed Vera on the nose.
“We’re almost done, Babushka. Karina only has six or so to go.” Katya said.
“Leave the trays of cookies, I’ll deal with them after I lay your sister down for her nap.” Both Karina and Katya nodded.
“Katya, I thought of a gift for your parents,” Illarion said, his light blond hair falling across his eyes. He swiped it out of the way. “If, you and Karina want to do it?”
“What?” Karina asked. Did he really have a good idea or was he teasing again?
“I thought I could take your picture on the camera your Mom bought me for my birthday. You could make a nice frame and give the picture to them for Christmas.”
“Wow, that sounds great,” Katya said. “What do you think, Karina? Mom and Dad won’t be home until dark. We could go outside and take a few pictures once you’re done coating the last cookies.”
Karina thought a moment, and then picked up her pace with the dough balls. Mom loved pictures and Dad loved whatever made Mom happy. “Okay. All done,” she said and wiped her hands on a towel. “Let’s go, if it’s all right with you, Babushka?”
“Go. I’ve got my hands full with your little brother and sister. Don’t forget a wrap,” Yelena called after the children running out the back door. She shook her head and ruffled Rurik’s hair. “Don’t worry Rurik, I have a project you can help me with once Vera is asleep.”
I hope you liked this little excerpt from the lives of the Volkov Children. For more information on the Siberian Volkov Pack Romance Series, go to http://CarynMoyaBlock.com. I’ve included the recipe for the Russian Tea Cakes below. Enjoy!
(Photo of tea cakes and recipe from: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/russian-tea-cakes-2860)
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup finely chopped husked hazelnuts, toasted
Sift flour and salt together. (Set aside) Using electric mixer, cream butter in large bowl until light. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients in 3 batches. (One third at a time) Mix in hazelnuts. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Space 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until just firm to touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. Roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely. Roll cookies in powdered sugar again. Store in airtight container.
“What is your favorite Christmas Cookie?” The first ten to comment below will win an eBook copy of one of Caryn’s novels.