Printable recipe is at the bottom of this post. Hope you get to try them soon!
Where I’m from, a tea cake is a simply flavored cookie, delicious on it’s own or with a cup of coffee, just lightly sweet so that it can double as a snack or treat, depending on your mood. My mother’s grandmother, Mama Reed, was known for her soft tea cakes. She would serve them warm, straight out of the oven, to her ten kids and whoever happened to be around when they were done. Then, after they had cooled she would store them in a big old cookie jar – where they didn’t last long.
Today, though, I’m sharing another variety of tea cake that was also a standard at many families, a crispy little tea cake, or as my husband calls them “those evil little things that won’t let me stop eating them.” These are a favorite of the men in my house and when they are in the cookie jar my 17 year old son seems to forget how to grab just one cookie at a time. 🙂 My husband often suffers from the same affliction.
If your grandma made the crispy version and you’ve been looking for a recipe, I’m sharing Mama’s today. If your grandma made the soft version, here ya go. If you don’t recall ever having a tea cake – I suggest you try whichever one sounds the best to you because they are both good. Keep in mind, though, that this is not a really sweet cookie so you might want to add additional sugars on the top if that is something you’re after. As for me and my house, this level of sweetness is about as perfect as it can be.
This is the part where I normally show you process photos of making the tea cakes. I had every intention of doing that and would really love to but I can’t seem to find the SD card that has them on it. I have found four SD cards so far and looked on every single one of them multiple times but no pictures. Fortunately, I do have the final shots because I took them on a different SD card, so at least there is that. So, I was left with a few choices.
- I can obsess and stress out and not post this today, and spend half of my day frantically looking for the card while becoming increasingly frustrated.
- I can roll with it and share the recipe with the photos that I do have.
Guess which one I chose? Oftentimes, we get ourselves worked up about things that are really insignificant in the grand scheme of life and do not affect the state of the world. It’s okay to give yourself a pass now and then. No sense in letting things that aren’t even blips on humanity’s radar ruin your day.
So instead, here is a photo of Zoey (black) and Pick (blonde).
And here are some beautiful Japanese Silkie Bantams.
And now, the finished tea cakes!
Were tea cakes (of any variety) a staple in your family growing up?
- 1 cup butter, at room temp (two sticks)
- 1+3/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- In large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and beat again. Add remaining ingredients and beat until fully incorporated, scraping down sides as needed. Drop dough by tablespoon size balls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Dip a glass in sugar and press down lightly on each dough ball to flatten, dipping in sugar again after each one.
- Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. If you would like them to be softer, bake one to two minutes less. Cool completely and then store in an airtight container until they disappear :).
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”