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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Healing with Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

The day I received a phone call that Memma had passed away I was just crushed.  I remember leaving work and driving home.  I had been to Alabama the weekend before and was back in Atlanta away from my Alabama family.  I walked the floor not knowing what to do.  Finally, I turned the oven on, got my mixing bowls out, and started to bake.  That just seemed like the thing to do.  Knowing that Memma loved to cook, I found solace in doing something that she always did.  This seemed to bring me comfort.  Just saying. 

This is a family recipe for Old Fashioned Tea Cakes.  Many days, I came home from school to the aroma of tea cakes. 
Old Fashioned Tea Cakes
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp buttermilk
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 level tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups plain flour
Cream butter, sugar, add eggs and remaining ingredients.  Work into soft dough that will roll out well.  Roll out, cut with cookie cutter or glass.  Put on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Watch closely because these burn easily.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake
Do not pre-heat the oven
1 cup butter softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yellow yolk disppears .
Sift together flour and baking powder, add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat batter at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Stir in vanilla and pecans.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 12 cup tube pan.  Place pan in a cold oven and bake at 300 degrees until a long wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  dust with powdered sugar if desired.

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