Friday, December 5, 2008

Southern Plate's Tea Cakes

I've been avoiding my kitchen lately, because I don't like it and because most of the things that I need to create really good stuff are still packed in boxes. But today I just really wanted to make some cookies! I flipped through several cookbooks and perused allrecipes, but didn't find one I wanted to make until I grabbed Southern Plate's cookbook and got almost to the end of the desserts section. I found the recipe for her Grandma's Tea Cakes, which she has also featured on her blog. Christy's catchphrase for these cookies perfectly describes them: "Soft and pillowy, they have just a hint of sweetness."

Southern Tea Cakes
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour (or 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 3/4 tsp. salt, plus enough all-purpose flour to make 3 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs. Now, this step seems quick and easy, right? I went to cream the ingredients and realized that my mixer is still packed and I don't know where it is! I sifted through several boxes, but didn't find it. I remembered that I have an old cookbook, from before mixers were common, in which the recipe calls for creaming the butter and sugar using the back of a wooden spoon. So I thought I'd give it a try.

The coolest thing is, it actually worked! Well, I guess people were making cakes and cookies long before the mixer was invented, they had to have some way of doing it!

Anyway, so I used a wooden spoon for this, but you can feel free to use a mixer! Cream butter and sugar; add eggs. Add vanilla and flour.

Roll thin onto floured board. Cut with biscuit cutter or shaped cookie cutter. Remember how most of my stuff is still in boxes? Yeah, no rolling or cutting going on here. I did the best I could with shaping the cookies by hand, with help from my three-year-old. So my cookies are a little misshapen, but they were made with love!

After rolling and cutting the cookies (or shaping them by hand) bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The recipe doesn't specify whether or not to grease the pan, so I decided to err on the side of caution and grease the pan. It worked, the cookies came off fine. Sprinkle with colored sugar while cookies are still warm, or Christy gives a lovely icing recipe on her post about the cookies. I chose to use green sugar - it was simple and a little bit Christmasy.

Anyway, these were delicious cookies, soft and pillowy with just that hint of sweetness just like Christy described them.


Meg said...

They look so delicious! Great job, especially without a mixer.

Barbara Bakes said...

I don't know if I'd try baking without a mixer - nice job! They look delicious!

Janelle said...

I made these today, and they caused me a bit of stress. In order to make them come out right and not stick, I had to use a LOT of flour - so much, I figured they wouldn't taste good. To my surprised delight, they came out of the oven a light, melt-in-your-mouth fabulous shortbread cookie! I absolutely love these! They are officially on my Christmas cookie list! Thanks for posting!

Stephanie said...

Yeah, I forgot to mention that Christy's post on these cookies calls for using plenty of flour to roll them out. Glad you enjoyed them as much as we did!

Holler said...

These sound good Stephanie. I was very intrigued to find out what the sprinkling of green was :)