Walking into my mother’s house for our weekly supper, my eye immediately went to a Ziploc bag filled with big, pale, pillowy cookies.
At long last, she made teacakes.
My mind drifted to an image of myself working later that night, dipping a teacake into some hot chocolate or tea. The stress of my looming deadline melted away.
There is something about those simple cookies that is inexplicably irresistible.
They aren’t too sweet; they aren’t too soft or too crispy; and they should be plenty filling, but I can’t seem to get enough of them.
Another reason teacakes warm my heart is that my mother feels the same way about them. We both know they are a symbol of how my grandmother used to cook: by hand and by heart.
The recipe I share here is my mother’s own interpretation from her memories. It’s a nice connection to make with Mother’s Day coming.
This recipe is the third one I have in my box from her as she’s attempted to re-create it over the years because, as so many generations before us did, Granny left no written recipe to follow.
My mother remembers watching her press out the dough, rather than rolling it, ensuring the cookies kept their fluffy texture. The bonus is the cookies are left with the impressions of a mother’s fingers on top.
Granny either pinched off a small amount of dough and pressed out each cookie, or she pressed the dough before cutting them. Of course, they can be rolled out as well, but Mom and I agree they look more old-fashioned with the handprints in them.
At her home in the rural community where my mother grew up in the mid-20th century, Granny used churned butter instead of shortening and fresh buttermilk and eggs. Also, my mother insists the vanilla they had at that time tasted better than what we get today. I’m inclined to believe her on this one.
I never met Granny, so my mother’s version of teacakes is most special to me, just as I’m sure Granny’s version is most special to her. Much love from the both of us this Mother’s Day.