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Aunt Neal's Old-Fashioned Tea Cakes

Yield 2 dozen
These delicious tea cakes were made by Aunt Cornelia ("Neal") on special occasions and holidays, using homemade hand-churned butter and eggs she gathered from the henhouse. This southern Georgia version dates back to the turn of the twentieth century.--Ana Kelly

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Sparkling white sugar

How to Make It

  1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition just until blended. Shape dough into 2 discs. Wrap in wax paper, and chill at least 1 hour.

  2. Roll each disc to 1/4" thickness on a floured surface. Cut with a 3 1/2" round cutter; place 1" apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Bake at 400° for 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool.

Christmas with Southern Living 2002