My Southern heritage is a huge part of me but it isn’t one that I celebrate often in my everyday life. I know that I’ve changed from my childhood but I want to reconnect with my heritage. So many of my memories are rooted in food. Growing up, I spent tons of time with my Granny and Grandaddy and at church. What better way to celebrate them than visit the food that I remember enjoying with them. With everything from cookies to pies to soups, it was all delicious and very, very Southern.
The church I grew up attending was the same church that my mom and her siblings attended, Philadelphia United Methodist Church in Guin, Alabama. In the 1980s, they published a church community cookbook. Many of the recipes are ones that I’ve eaten over the years at church potlucks and dinners. Many were submitted by members of my extended family or close family friends. Together, we will take a trip down memory lane to experience these great retro Southern recipes!
Today’s recipe is for Tea Cakes. They were my Grandaddy’s favorite cookie. The recipe in the cookbook was submitted by their neighbor Inez Brown. I spent many childhood afternoons in her sunny kitchen with my grandparents. We stopped their on the way home from school to enjoy coffee and a chat. More often than not, we enjoyed Little Debbie snack cakes or Beebo cinnamon rolls but occasionally she would have tea cakes fresh from the oven.
Tea cakes are very similar to a sugar cookie. They are quick and easy to make and use ingredients you have in your pantry at any given time. Vary your baking time to give either a crisp cookie or a chewy cookie. As the name says, they go wonderfully with a cup of hot tea.
Retro Southern Recipes - Tea Cakes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Mix flour, soda and salt in a small bowl. Add to butter mixture and mix well.
- Turn out on a lightly floured surface and roll to a 1/4 thick. Cut with a cookie cutter.
- Bake 5-7 minutes until puffed and just starting to brown around the edges. (Bake less for chewy and more for crispy.)