When we get a craving for cookies, there is nothing like homemade to truly satisfy. And, when a cake-like cookie is what you have your heart set on a crispy cookie simply won’t do.
Southern tea cake cookies have that wonderful light texture and buttery flavor. But, these cookies also have a centuries-old history in the South. Tea cake cookies are thought to have been created as the South’s answer to European tea cakes (the latter of which are more like cupcakes that are served with hot tea).
Enslaved peoples during the 18th and 19th centuries would have served these cookies to the guests of the plantation owners. But when slavery ended the tradition for these cookies continued. Using what they had on hand, the cookies have a simple ingredient list. During the 19th century these cookies were often made with flour, lard, molasses, and a little nutmeg or vanilla and that’s it.
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