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Southern Tea Cake Cookies

Southern Tea Cake Cookies Recipe

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Southern Tea Cake Cookies are a timeless classic, offering a delightful blend of buttery goodness and subtle sweetness. Perfect for afternoon tea or a comforting snack, these cookies bring a taste of Southern tradition to your kitchen. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into how to make these delectable cookies, complete with detailed instructions, cooking notes, variations, and keto and low-carb versions. Plus, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions to ensure your baking experience is a success. Let’s get started!

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Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Step 2: Prepare the Dry Ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and ground nutmeg. Set aside.

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Step 3: Cream the Butter and Sugar

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the softened butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Add the Egg and Vanilla

Add the egg and pure vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Step 5: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients

Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Step 6: Scoop and Shape the Dough

Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, portion out the dough and roll it into balls. Place the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Step 7: Flatten the Dough Balls

Gently flatten each dough ball with the bottom of a glass or your palm to about 1/4-inch thickness.

Step 8: Bake the Cookies

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. The centers should still be soft.

Step 9: Cool and Enjoy

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy your Southern Tea Cake Cookies with a cup of tea or coffee!

Cooking Notes

  • Butter: Ensure your butter is softened to room temperature for easy creaming with the sugar. This will help achieve a light and fluffy texture.
  • Nutmeg: Ground nutmeg adds a subtle, warm flavor to the cookies. Feel free to adjust the amount to your taste.
  • Room Temperature Egg: Using a room temperature egg helps with even mixing and better texture in the cookies.
  • Baking Time: Keep an eye on the cookies as they bake. They should be lightly golden around the edges but still soft in the center. Overbaking will result in a harder cookie.

Variations

1. Lemon Tea Cake Cookies

  • Ingredients: Add 1 tsp of lemon zest and replace the vanilla extract with 1 tsp of lemon extract.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, incorporating the lemon zest and extract with the wet ingredients.

2. Almond Tea Cake Cookies

  • Ingredients: Replace the vanilla extract with 1 tsp of almond extract and add 1/2 cup of finely chopped almonds to the dough.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, incorporating the almond extract and chopped almonds with the wet ingredients.

3. Chocolate Chip Tea Cake Cookies

  • Ingredients: Fold in 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips into the dough.
  • Instructions: Follow the original recipe, incorporating the mini chocolate chips after the dry ingredients are mixed in.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

Keto Tea Cake Cookies

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup erythritol or other keto-friendly sweetener
    • 1 large egg, room temperature
    • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Prepare the Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, salt, baking soda, and ground nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Cream the Butter and Sweetener: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the softened butter and erythritol until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the Egg and Vanilla: Add the egg and pure vanilla extract to the butter-sweetener mixture. Beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  6. Scoop and Shape the Dough: Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, portion out the dough and roll it into balls. Place the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  7. Flatten the Dough Balls: Gently flatten each dough ball with the bottom of a glass or your palm to about 1/4-inch thickness.
  8. Bake the Cookies: Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. The centers should still be soft.
  9. Cool and Enjoy: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Low-Carb Tea Cake Cookies

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cups coconut flour
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup granulated Stevia or other low-carb sweetener
    • 1 large egg, room temperature
    • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Prepare the Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and ground nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Cream the Butter and Sweetener: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the softened butter and granulated Stevia until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the Egg and Vanilla: Add the egg and pure vanilla extract to the butter-sweetener mixture. Beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  6. Scoop and Shape the Dough: Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, portion out the dough and roll it into balls. Place the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  7. Flatten the Dough Balls: Gently flatten each dough ball with the bottom of a glass or your palm to about 1/4-inch thickness.
  8. Bake the Cookies: Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. The centers should still be soft.
  9. Cool and Enjoy: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, let the dough come to room temperature before scooping and baking.

2. Can I freeze the dough?

Absolutely! You can freeze the cookie dough balls on a baking sheet until firm, then transfer them to a zip-top bag. Bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

3. What can I serve with Southern Tea Cake Cookies?

These cookies pair wonderfully with a cup of tea, coffee, or a cold glass of milk. They also make a lovely addition to dessert platters and afternoon tea spreads.

4. How should I store the cookies?

Store the baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze the cookies for up to three months.

5. Can I add other flavors to the cookies?

Yes, you can add different extracts, such as almond or lemon, or mix in some citrus zest, nuts, or dried fruit for added flavor and texture.

6. Can I make these cookies gluten-free?

Yes, substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Ensure all other ingredients, such as the baking soda and vanilla extract, are also gluten-free.

7. Why are my cookies too dry?

If your cookies turn out too dry, you may have overbaked them or used too much flour. Ensure you measure the flour correctly and watch