Unassuming though they might look, Southern tea cakes are special cookies.  It’s said that these sweet little cakes were served at tea parties hosted by Juliette Gordon Low in her efforts to form the Girl Scouts of America.  Leave it to Southerners to create an empire out of butter and sugar.  Paula Deen was not the first, nor will she be the last.

I want to share my own tea party with you today to raise awareness about ovarian cancer.  Kelly Ripa has teamed up with Foodbuzz to support the ovaraian cancer research fund.  I couldn’t be more proud to take part in the top 9 takeover to show my support.  If you want to click on over and donate to our virtual tea party efforts, click here. When you get back, make a pot of tea for two and nibble on these soft, cakey cookies lightly scented with nutmeg.

Tea Cakes (for a good cause)

Tea Cakes (for a good cause)

Yields 6 cookies.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Sugar & freshly grated nutmeg for sprinkling on top


  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla, egg yolk and milk. Beat well.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Pour 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter and beat until just combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour and continue beating lightly. Finally, add the last flour and beat until just combined—do not overmix.
  4. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°.
  6. Lightly flour a work surface and dump the dough out onto it. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a ¼” rectangle and cut out 4 circles with a 2 ½” round cookie or biscuit cutter.
  7. Reroll the scraps to get 2 more cookies. Place cookies a greased baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with sugar and freshly grated nutmeg, and bake for 9 minutes. The cookies should not have any brownness around the edges; they will be puffed in the middle. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy with tea.

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