Old-fashioned teacakes

I was thinking about my grandmother, Winnie, this weekend because she’s probably going to have hip replacement surgery soon. As I was going through a bunch of recipes that she sent me about a year and a half ago, I saw one that hadn’t caught my eye before: old-fashioned “teacakes.” What really intrigued me was that on the back of the recipe card, she wrote, “This was my grandmother Wood’s recipe.”

Well, of course I knew what my next recipe for this blog would be! How could I not make these teacakes that my great-great-grandmother used to make? (It also helped that I had all of the ingredients on hand already…or so I thought.)

I always think about Winnie around this time of year; her birthday is Feb. 28 (she turned 91 this year!) and the camellias are blooming in Cordele right about now. Camellias are my favorite flower and remind me of Winnie’s backyard, chock-full of camellia bushes in a smattering of different colors. I wish I’d inherited her green thumb and love of yardwork–maybe I’d have bulbs blooming and Confederate jasmine perfuming my yard, too.

Old-fashioned teacakes
I halved this recipe and it made way more than enoughat least 30 or so, depending on the size of the cookie cutter or biscuit cutter used. A full recipe would make five or six dozen, easily.

2 cups sugar
4 cups self-rising flour (I only had all-purpose, so I added 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder and 1/2 tsp. of salt for each cup of flour)
3 eggs
2 sticks butter (the recipe doesn’t say to soften the butter, but it’s a good idea to take this step)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Sift flour into a large bowl and mix in other ingredients.

Here’s my makeshift self-rising flour: 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt per cup of flour.

I thought I had enough eggs, but I was one short so I just had to make do. The result was somewhat sandy, crumbly dough, but the more I worked with it while rolling it out, the more cohesive it became. Roll out on a floured cloth (I used a floured wooden board) to desired thickness. I wasn’t sure how thick to roll the dough, so I ended up with about 1/4-inch or so. Maybe slightly less than that.

Cut with a cookie cutter for any desired shape. The only cookie cutters I have are Christmas shaped, so I used a trusty stemless wine glass. Note to self: buy some biscuit cutters!

Bake at 400 for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.

Per Winnie’s recipe card, these are wonderful for grandmothers to have for grandchildren’s “tea parties.” I didn’t quite know what to expect from these—would they be more cake than cookie?—but they ended up rather large and rather addictive. They’re very crunchy, but the cinnamon and nutmeg really sets them apart from other cookies. Keep in mind when choosing how large to cut pieces out that they expand significantly in the oven.

My favorite way to eat these is to make a little teacake sandwich by spreading a thin layer of Nutella in between two of them—perfect with a glass of milk!

Finally, as one of the lone Georgia Bulldogs in a sea of Washington Huskies…GO DAWGS! I don’t think I can suffer any more dashed hopes or embarrassing games, so I’m really hoping the Dawgs can pull out a win over UW. My pride can’t take a loss, to be honest, and my co-workers would never let me live it down!


4 thoughts on “Old-fashioned teacakes

  1. I’m imagining Cordele now; eating these cookies with a glass of Winnie’s sweet iced tea and making up dance routines in her backyard.

  2. I may just have to make these for a tea party for Alaina, Georgia, Reese and Rhett – if we can all get together. I, too, just love this camellia bush that is blooming just as I drive out to go to work – miss those that I had at West Fair. They remind me of riding my tricycle and “picking up” Mona to go to bridge club. Thanks for sharing! Go Dawgs!

  3. Great post, Lizzie, and how nice of you to honor Winnie for all that delicious food that she fed us for so many years. You know what this great great grandmother’s name was – Mama Lizzie!!

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