I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Brief History of Tea Cakes or the Side Hustle of @HealthyEveryday

As we are all prone to do, one day @healthyeveryday was complaining about someone on Twitter. It wasn't until she mentioned tea cakes that she got my attention.

Tea cakes are like childhood to me. The remembrance of those smells of tea cakes being made envelope me in a feeling of peace and homesickness that is painful.  I can close my eyes and be in my grandmother's kitchen standing on a metal milk crate helping her to make them.

Or using that same milk crate to sneak a few of out The Box.

The Box was where my grandmother stored most of her baked goods. Most families have cookie jars - not us. Because my grandmother was a prolific baker a simple cookie jar wouldn't have sufficed.

What is a tea cake?

As you may have guessed a tea cake is a very Southern thing. I was telling the Hubbster about my Twittersation with @HealthyEveryday and even he was like "What is a tea cake?" His parents and extended family are originally from North Carolina.

Well the best non technical description I can give is this:

The closest recipe I could find to the one I remember is Grandmother's Tea Cakes from AllRecipes.com

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • Directions
  • In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and extract; beat well. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Chill for 1-2 hours. Shape into 1-1/4-in. balls. Place 2-1/2 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned (do not overbake). Cool 1 minute on pan before removing to a wire rack.

Have you ever had a tea cake? What was your experience?

If you want to try a tea cake, tweet @healthyeveryday. She ships!

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