Small blessing from the clouds
For the Record
Teacakes. That is what Granny (Alma) Heath was known for. Well, that a chicken and dumplings. It was a cherished family recipe that had been handed down. Sure, they were a little dry, but there was still something about them that the family loved. And as long as you had a cold glass of milk or a cup of coffee…or tea, the dry didn’t matter.
They were also a good substitute for sugar cookies if you wanted to do cut-out decorated cookie, but wanted a cookie that wasn’t as sweet.
Granny’s teacakes were sure to show up at Christmas functions until just a few years ago, when the recipe was lost.
Helen Clark had passed the recipe on to her daughter, Sherry Walles, many years ago when her baking days were over and Sherry was the one of the daughters that baked the most.
The recipe was lost when Walles’ home burned to the ground a couple of years ago. No more cookies for the holidays…until now.
Recently, she stumbled on the ingredients list for the cookies in her cloud storage and posted the recipe to Facebook.
“I thought the recipe was lost?” said her sister Penny LeLeux.
“It was, but I found the ingredients list in my cloud storage,” said Walles. “I’ve been making these things for over 40 years now. I knew how to put it all together; I just couldn’t remember the exact amounts to put in.”
In the chat, a cousin, Shannon Heath, stated she has had the recipe. “I’ve tried twice and they still aren’t as good as hers,” she said. “I’ll get it one day.”
Walles’ niece Janet LeLeux is happy the recipe was found. She doesn’t really care for the cookies themselves, but she knows how much they have been cherished in family and feels it will be an appropriate addition to her own “family recipe” book she received as a wedding gift last year.
“I’m so excited the recipe has been found,” said Penny LeLeux. “I was thinking about them the other day, and then the recipe popped up in my feed on Facebook from my sister.” LeLeux said she plans on taking a stab at making the cookies this holiday season. “That recipe makes a ton of cookies,” she said.
“They are great to cut into shapes for the holidays, but I remember Granny Heath just using a drinking glass to cut them out in circles.” Sometime her grandmother would just use that glass as a rolling pin to roll out the dough, too.
“Now if somebody can just get her dumplings down,” laughed LeLeux.
Granny Heath’s Tea Cake Recipe
4 ½ cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup Crisco (can substitute butter)
2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons canned milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream Crisco and sugar till fluffy.
Add eggs, milk, and vanilla to creamed mixture and blend well. Stir in dry ingredients ½ cup at a time.
Dough can be rolled out to cut shaped cookies or dropped with a spoon and squished to make round cookies.
For rolled cookies lightly flour your work space and roll out 3/8 to ½ inch thick sheet of dough and cut as desired. Place on cookie sheet ½ inches apart.
For drop cookies use a table spoon or cookie scoop to drop dough directly on un-greased cookie sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. (Cookies will get bigger when you squish them) I use a drinking glass with a flat round bottom. Lightly butter the bottom of the glass and dip it into some sugar. Gently press the dough to 3/8
– ½ thicknesses.
Bake until bottom of cookie is light brown. Remove from cookie sheet while warm to prevent sticking to the pan.