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Help me find this Tea Cake recipe from the 70's....

My mom made tea cake cookies that were pale, puffy, about 4-5 inches across with a light, cake-like interior, gently scented with anise. They were barely sweet, and I adored them. They had a slight chew, and the edges were not as soft as the interior.

Sadly, well before her death, she had lost the recipe. I have googled so much, only to be disappointed.

Do you know of a tea cake or very large cookie that sounds like the one I describe?

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  1. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/amish-su...

    Are these a step in the right direction? They are from batter, not dough.

    8 Replies
    1. re: blue room

      hmm, thanks, i think that *may* be in the right direction. might've made sense for my mom, too -- who was not a big baker. however, the edges were more even that this photo.

      1. re: alkapal

        I suspect your biggest problem is that you're working from memory on the look and flavor. From your description, my guess is that it may have been a batter-as-opposed-to-dough recipe that was thinned enough to promote speading out into the large round shape you remember. This recipe might work if you leave out the lemon zest:
        http://recipes.prevention.com/Recipe/...

        Or maybe using Alton Brown's Sugar Cookie recipe that uses butter and substituting an anise liqueur for the vanilla and maybe even increasing the amount just a tad would get the results you're looking for?
        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

        In my experience, it is possible to run into a brick wall when trying to make things that smell and taste like the recipes my mom made years ago. I spent DECADES trying to duplicate the yeast based dinner rolls my mother made for every holiday meal while I was growing up. Then I finally figured out it's the yeast. She used Fleischmann's fresh yeast cakes because active dry yeast hadn't been invented yet. Try finding cake yeast where I live! Fleischmann's website SAYS they still make it, but offers no clue where to buy it. Oh well, If I baked some I'd just have to eat them... all... with tons of butter... YIKES!!! Be careful what we wish for!

        1. re: Caroline1

          i'd expect a batter to spread to a uniform height when baked, but i guess not, depending on the leavening.

          i AM indeed working from memory, but my memory on those is perfect! ;-).

          1. re: alkapal

            Probably not the leavening as much as the amount of liquid. The ONLY difference between my baking powder drop biscuits and pancakes is the amount of milk I use. I would imagine it works exactly the same for tea cake batter. The looser the batter, the farther it spreads, but the leavening will still make them rise. <sheesh> Now I hear the damn bottle of Pernod in the wet bar squealing, "Bake me! Bake me! I wanna be a cookie!" <sigh> Can I resist???

            1. re: Caroline1

              they have a slight chewy "crust" to them.

              and you get that pernod in line, now!

              1. re: alkapal

                You're just trying to make me fatter, aren't you! '-)

                1. re: Caroline1

                  i'd love to make me fatter, if i could find it.

                  i could eat several of those cookies within a few hours!

                  1. re: alkapal

                    "Several" in a "few hours"??!?!??? Amateur! Bet the Cookie Monster LOVES sitting next to you. The plate will be empty before you reach for seconds!

    2. Maybe they were like a biscochito. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/biscochi... seems very traditional.

      Here's a little more about them http://www.cakespy.com/blog-old/2008/...

      1 Reply
      1. re: travelerjjm

        no, i think that is too short for my cookies. thanks!

      2. Springerle cookies are pale and are usually flavored with anise.

        1. Were they Italian anissette cookies with a glaze on them?

          1 Reply
          1. re: cookie monster

            i don't think so, as these were quite large. did not have glaze either.

          2. I think I know what you're talking about. I adored tea biscuits and they general had dark raisins where I grew up.
            Light, flaky, cakey, buttery.

            1 Reply
            1. re: monavano

              in mine, all those adjectives, but definitely no raisins.

              one of the most distinctive things was the size. very large!

            2. Could they be like a soft sour cream sugar cookie?

              3 Replies
              1. re: sandylc

                no, don't think so. not a sugar cookie.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Googling around, I don't see a difference between the two. Gourmet magazine in 2000 said that tea cakes are soft sugar cookies.

              2. Try Googling Southern Tea Cakes. There are lots of recipes for this type of cookie, but the anise flavor is more of an Italian twist.

                1 Reply
                1. re: critter101

                  yes, as i said, i've googled every which way to sunday.

                2. alkapal, I don't want to be nosy but did your mother cook foods from a certain ethnicity? It would help if we could hunt with you within a certain cuisine (Italian, Lebanese, German...)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: pinehurst

                    I tried to edit but too late....alkapal, I'll search more within ethnic recipes, but is it close to either of these?

                    http://madaboutmaida.blogspot.com/201...

                    http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2...

                    1. re: pinehurst

                      my mom was a southern gal. her mom was from the deep south. her dad was from the the cherokee/oklahoma zone. she was born in marianna, florida (NW florida, panhandle).

                      i suspect her recipes would have come from alabama, georgia, and the like.

                    2. everyone who is trying to help me, i bless you!