They’re light and buttery, a little chewy, just a touch of brown around the edges. The fragrance of vanilla and cinnamon wafts through the kitchen as they gently puff up in the oven.
Some describe it as a soft, old-fashioned sugar cookie; some say they are neither cookie nor cake, but most agree that Southern tea cakes are all about childhood, family, and a big ole batch of feel-good memories. If a bite of Southern cuisine could hug you, the tea cake would be it.
I would be lying if I didn’t confess that Teacakes for Tosh (Putnam, 2012) had me at the title along with the picture of the grandmother and grandson on the cover. Certainly their special bond is the heartbeat of this tender, multi-layered intergenerational tale so lovingly told by Kelly Starling Lyons and masterfully illustrated by Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winner E.B. Lewis.