1800’s TEA CAKE Cookie Recipe

Table of Contents: COOKIES

1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

2 T. milk

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups plain flour, sifted



Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Using an electric mixer with the large bowl, cream the butter and sugar: add the salt.  Beat in eggs one at a time; then add the milk, baking powder, and vanilla.  Mix on medium speed until well blended.  Reduce the mixer speed to slowly begin adding the sifted flour to form a soft dough.


Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours.  Prepare a baking pan with spray-oil and set aside.


After the refrigeration time, divide the dough into 3 pieces for easier handling.  Using a floured surface, roll the dough with a floured rolling pin VERY thin; then cut out cookies with a cookie cutter.  Place the cookies on the prepared baking pan, and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until very light brown.  Watch the cookies carefully while baking, since they are thin and some brown quicker than others.  If needed, remove individual cookies from the pan as they brown to prevent over or under cooking.

Surely everyone’s mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother made these delicate, crisp cookies through the years.  This was my grandmother’s recipe passed down from her mother.  My husband’s mother and grandmother used the very same recipe, and we have friends from Europe that tell me this was a family recipe of theirs!  It is a simple cookie, and it is best when rolled very thin.  But, I have a friend that is a marvelous cook who makes her cookies much thicker.  And they are wonderful also!


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