Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Tea Cake Man

My Dad, in his younger days, could do or fix just about anything. There was very little that he wouldn't tackle. He's reached the point in his life now when he doesn't fool with fixing things much anymore. He taking the easy road and letting others do the work. I'm sure he feels that he's put his time in but there is one thing in particular that he really enjoys doing. He loves baking tea cakes. Now, let me clarify a few things. He does not cook period. He does not bake in general. What he does is bake tea cakes. And I must say, I think he's mastered the art.

If you know my Dad very well, you've probably had some of his tea cakes. He usually takes them to any family gathering, sends them to softball and basketball games with my nieces and brother so they can hand them out to the players after the games, and gives them to folks just because. He bakes and finds a way to get them to just about anyone who has an interest in them. He even sent some to Iraq! The son of a co-worker of my sister-in-law was the recipient of that batch as he served our country in Iraq.

I believe this is an old recipe, one that he probably would have grown up on made from ingredients that people would have typically had around the house. It's easy to make but when I asked him for the recipe a couple of years ago, he said to me, "I'll give you the recipe but they won't be as good as mine." Well, I've made them a few times and they're good, really good, but I'm probably not quite there yet. Hope you enjoy them!

Dad's Tea Cakes

1 cup of sugar
1 stick of margerine, melted
2 T. vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups of self rising flour

1. Put sugar into large plastic bowl.
2. Melt margerine in a cup and pour margerine into sugar leaving a small amount in the bottom of the cup to use later.
3. Mix sugar and margerine, then add vanilla. Mix, then add egg. Mix well.
4. Gradually stir in flour until mixture gets fairly thick. When the mixture begins to "turn loose" on the sides of the bowl and balls up in the middle, you have the right amount of flour and the mixture is ready to be spooned out.
5. Spray a 10x15 baking pan with Pam.
6. Spoon out with a teaspoon into 24 equal parts. Gently pat each cookie with 2 fingers that you have dipped in the melted margerine that was left.
7. Sprinkle tops with sugar. Cook in the middle of the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
8. Let cool for 8 minutes, then insert spatula between cookies to separate them.
9. Place on a wire rack to cool. Yield: 24 teacakes.

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