I like the words Tea Cake. I mean, it quite obviously means a cake for tea, but I also imagine ladies who are sipping Earl Grey out of Limoges china that has a wafer thin lemon slice floating on top with perfect red lipstick that does not smudge. Where the phrase, "One lump or two?" does not mean how many quick thwacks you get in the meaty part of your arm but sugar.
I was flipping through Laverne, my beloved late grandmother in law's recipes and found one called Spring Tea Cakes. It sounded lovely. Spring tea cakes are something that should be eaten with daffodils on the table. But being minjenah, I had to put a different spin on it so I made it with a hint of orange. These tea cakes are more like if yellow cake and sugar cookies had a love child, soft and pillowy.
Vernal Equinox Tea Cakes
For the cakes:
One stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the glaze:
The juice of the one orange you zested
Two cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl. It should be light and fluffy. Add the next four ingredients and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry stuff to the wet stuff. Stir until it comes together. It will be a very soft dough.
Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thick. Be sure to use a lot of flour because it is a very soft dough that is STICKY.
Cut them out like you would round sugar cookies (I used a juice glass). Bake on greased cookie sheets (I actually put them on parchment paper) for 10-12 minutes.
While the cakes are baking, I made the glaze which is you mix the juice and the powdered sugar together. Drizzle over the warm tea cakes.
One thing I recommend is that you sift your powdered sugar so you do not get hard little lumps like I did:
Laverne's recipe said it would make 3-4 dozen but I actually got 30. I think the portion sizes back then were a lot smaller. Or maybe modern day portions are too large.
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2 hours ago