Tea Cakes with Butter Cream Frosting!
Tea Cakes Plain!
The term 'tea cake' has different meanings in not just different regions of the United States, but in different parts of the world. However, in the southeastern region of America, the tea cake is a big sugar cookie with a cake like texture.
When I asked my mother if she had a good tea cake recipe, she looked at me like I was a little crazy and said "Why?". I told her that I get requests for these several times a week and I didn't really have a good recipe. She sort of sniffed ( like only Mama can do) and said, "Well, I know about tea cakes, but I wouldn't call it a recipe. It's just a plain old cake like sugar cookie that poor country folks made for something sweet when they didn't have anything else. Believe me, I have eaten my share of them back in the day." I told her that some people say they remind them of their grandmothers or great aunts or even mothers and want to make them. Of course, Mama's response was classic Mama, "They must have better memories of being poor than I do, but we can make some for them." I take it that Mama was not a tea cake fan...lol.
However, as with most baked goods, she can make a delicious tea cake. I had to tell her that even though she thinks tea cakes are ho hum, my husband and I loved them and just about fought over the last one of the ones she sent home with us. Isn't it funny how the simplest recipes are sometimes the best? Here is what you will need:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat eggs and stir in oil and vanilla. Blend in sugar until the mixture thickens. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into the oil mixture. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Press each cookie flat with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar. If you moisten the bottom of the glass with oil before dipping in the sugar it will give you extra crunchiness.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake. Makes approximately 3 dozen tea cakes.
You can fancy these up by frosting them, but they are good just plain also. This butter cream frosting is really good on them and can be tinted or just left white as this was.
Butter Cream Frosting
8 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening ( used Crisco)
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring (the almond is really good for frosting the tea cakes)
Beat powdered sugar, butter and shortening in a large bowl. Beat milk and flavoring of your choice. If it's too stiff beat in more milk a few drops at a time.
This recipe makes a huge amount of frosting so if you are just making it for the tea cake, you can cut it in half. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days though.