Subscribe

Southern tea cakes

This vanilla cookie with a sweet is similar to a Mexican Wedding Cake, but without the nuts.

  • close
    Southern Tea Cake cookie is a vanilla cookie with a sugary glaze.
    The Pastry Chef's Baking
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Not being from the American South, I’d never really heard of Southern Tea Cakes. When I saw the recipe, it seemed like Mexican Wedding Cakes without the nuts and instead of a coating of powdered sugar, it was covered in a glaze. Is that “the South” they were talking about? My friends who are genuinely from the South say “nah.” So this West Coast baker will have to interpret Southern Tea Cakes as a melt-in-your-mouth vanilla cookie with vanilla glaze.

Which is what I got with this cookie. What I love about the ubiquitous Mexican Wedding Cake is the soft, moist texture with the crunchy texture and flavor of toasted pecans. The Southern Tea Cake almost but not quite mimics that texture sans nuts but isn’t quite as melty in your mouth because it isn’t rolled in powdered sugar which contributes to that melty mouthfeel. Still, this is a good cookie especially if you want a simple vanilla cookie. The glaze adds a nice sweetness. You can leave it off if you choose but I recommend adding it for a little bit of elegance just to dress it up a bit.

The dough is easy to work with and, as always, I recommend portioning it into chubby dough balls and freezing first before baking. It won’t spread as much. Err on the side of just underbaking or just baking until done. The bottoms will be a light golden brown. I couldn’t quite capture the texture in the picture on the original blog where I got the recipe from so that may also be why mine weren’t as melty in the mouth as a traditional Mexican Wedding Cake but it was still quite good.

Recommended: 20 chocolate chip cookie recipes

Southern tea cakes
From Jam Hands

1 cup unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together for 1 minute until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until incorporated.

2. Whisk together baking powder, salt and flour; add gradually to butter-sugar mixture, beating until just combined. Do not overmix.
Portion dough into 2-inch balls, cover and chill or freeze for several hours or overnight.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Evenly space dough balls on baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Do not overbake. Cool on wire rack while preparing glaze.

For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over tea cakes. Allow glaze to set before eating.

Related post on The Pastry Chef's Baking: Pecan shortbread cookies

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK