Like many chefs and home cooks, I learned from the best cooks in our family, and one of the best was Aunt Lizzie. Technically, Aunt Lizzie was my great-great aunt since she was my great grandmother’s younger sister, and like many of the women in our family, she was a phenomenal cook. Unfortunately, when she passed away, she took with her some of her best recipes since none were ever written down.
Although I was young, I remember this tiny woman always up before dawn cooking and of course, baking biscuits and tea cakes. It’s taken many years of research and experimenting to even come close to making Aunt Lizzie’s tea cakes, and while mine aren’t exactly like hers, I’m happy to say that I think I’ve gotten them right…or as close as possible.
Aunt Lizzie’s tea cakes were slightly sweet, crumbly, and perfect for dipping in her morning cup of coffee. My tea cakes, on the other hand, have taken her original idea and added toasted pecans.
- 2 sticks softened butter
- 2 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 4 c. all purpose flour
- 1 c. toasted pecan pieces
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter.
- Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Mix in baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract.
- Add flour alternately with buttermilk, mixing well after each addition.
- Stir in pecan pieces.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto a parchment or silicone lined cookie sheet, 3-4 inches apart. Wet the bottom of a glass and lightly press and flatten each dough mound to resemble soft biscuits.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Cool completely.