Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mamaw's Teacakes

When I was growing up, I had two kinds of Mamaws. 

One was my "school Mamaw". She was an English teacher for lots of years. So I could always talk to her about the day when I would be a teacher myself. How I would decorate my classroom. How I would eat the "for teachers only" baked potatoes at lunch. And how I would teach my students to fall in love with books. This Mamaw is still with me today. And even though neither of us teaches school anymore, we both still love a good baked potato. 

My other Mamaw was my "kitchen Mamaw". And while she went to be with Jesus way back in 2005, she still comes to my mind almost every time I'm cooking. She taught me how to roll out biscuits and make a mean Lemon Icebox Pie. That a pear half with a little dollop of mayonnaise and some grated cheese sitting on a lettuce leaf was considered "salad". That fried shrimp didn't have to come from a restaurant. And even though she told me all the time how much she loved me, her favorite way to show love was through food. 

Those three little fingerprints in the dough? Lily Bird.

While there was always a variety of homemade treats in Mamaw's kitchen, one cookie was a staple. A simple, unassuming, and humble cookie in the midst of more fancy, fussy sweets. 

The teacake.

Not too sweet. Not too crispy. A little bit pillowy and soft. But not at all gummy. 

This is the kind of cookie I imagine the British calling a "biscuit". Maybe these teacakes could be considered the Texas version of a British biscuit. But then, I guess the British call every cookie a biscuit. Like even Oreos. Weird. So maybe we just stick with cookie. 

Before you ask, there is not one teeny gluten free or paleo thing about these cookies. Because sometimes, you just need your Mamaw's cookies exactly the way you remember them. So yes, these could probably be tweaked to fit a special diet but you won't find me messing with my Mamaw's recipe. This is the cookie Mamaw made for her grandkids. And now her grandkids make them for her great-grandkids. And I'm not messing with tradition, even if it means some white flour and Crisco. 

Mamaw's Teacakes

2 cups sugar
1 cup Crisco
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
2 tbsp lemon extract

Mix well. Then add:

5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

Mix until no longer powdery. 

Roll out. Cut with biscuit cutter. Bake at 400 degrees for about 8-9 minutes or until lightly golden around bottom edges of cookies and no longer damp on top. 

Do you have a family recipe that brings back memories? A recipe that's been passed through the generations? I'd love to hear the story. 


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