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Grandma’s Tea Cakes

When I was a child, these golden cookies were a special treat from my grandmother, who often invited me to tea parties at her house. Now when I make these cookies. I remember those warm special times.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min.
  • Makes
    5-1/2 dozen


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons milk


  • In a bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and extract; beat well. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Chill for 1-2 hours. Shape into 1-1/4-in. balls. Place 2-1/2 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned (do not overbake). Cool 1 minute on pan before removing to a wire rack.
If Cooking for Two: Cookies can be frozen in heavy-duty freezer bags or other airtight containers.
Nutrition Facts
2 each: 150 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 97mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.
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  • 2124arizona
    Nov 18, 2017

    These cookies remind me of the ones my Mom fixed when we were kids! Yum

  • GramsPat
    Nov 28, 2016

    This recipe is both simple and delicious. Just before I baked them I dusted them with decorator's sugar. It made them pretty and added the barest hint of sweetness. Excellent recipe. But I would suggest using the shortening as the recipe says rather than butter. They tend to hold their shape better.

  • EllieMaGoo
    Mar 20, 2011

    I have tried this recipe a few times. The cookies always spread way too thin. Luckily they make great cookie crumbs for crusts or over ice cream. I clipped this recipe from the magazine because the cookies in the picture look fantastic, I just want to gobble them up! Since i've never had a successful attempt, should the cookies end up being soft or crunchy? I've lowered the temp, used ungreased sheets, chilled the dough overnight, reduced the shortning, and still they spread. I've only ever used butter, should I use Crisco? Any suggustions? This recipe haunts me. :)

  • sweetlover
    Dec 24, 2010

    I just made these and they are delicious. Mammawsbaby, you don't have to chill the dough. Instead, you can just drop them by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and bake as directed. I think the recipe says to chill because the dough is easier to work with that way and I don't think they would spread as much. The unchilled dough spreads quite a bit. I didn't mind though, it just gives you bigger cookies.

  • mammawbaby
    Nov 13, 2008

    when my Grandmother made these tea cakes, she did not have to chill them. What did she do that skiped that process? I do not have the recipe.Betty