Cinnamon and Honey in Southern Tea Cakes?

I am trying to recreate my grandmother's tea cake recipe and I'm not sure about how much of three certain ingredients I should put in or start with. The three ingredients are honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Those of you are are from the south will know that a "tea cake" is actually a cookie and you would also know that nutmeg is one of the key ingredients. But my grandma uses cinnamon and honey aswell. My question is if I'm using 4 cups of flour and 2 cups of sugar (and obliviously some other ingredients) how much nutmeg, cinnamon, and honey should I put in?

  • Posted by: MJLove
  • July 25, 2019


Lori T. July 26, 2019
Your tea cakes sound very much like my German grandmother's honey cookies. They were a soft cake-like cookie, much like the tea cakes I had in the south. They also call for about 4 cups of flour, and uses 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of honey. The honey and sugar get heated until dissolved in 2 sticks of butter, until the sugar dissolves, and then added to the dry ingredients. Her orginal recipe called for "lebkuchen" spice mix, which is a mix of spices that includes nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger- among others. She couldn't always get it, and my grandfather didn't much care for some of the spices- so she would just add in a big pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice into the melted butter/honey mix. I think that might be closer to the type cookie you are talking about as well. You could easily add or leave out whatever spices you want without changing the texture of the cookie itself. The only secret according to her was to use a "wild" honey because it had character that clover honey lacked, and she thought orange blossom honey got overwhelmed. Lebkuchen is a variation on the honey cookie theme, but uses ground almonds or hazelnuts for part of the flour, and there are even nutless versions using ground sunflower seeds.
Emma L. July 25, 2019
Hi! For 2 cups of flour, you could add about 1 teaspoon ground spices (cinnamon and nutmeg, whatever ratio you like). With respect to the honey, I would drop some of the sugar and replace it with honey—maybe 1/2 cup? Curious to hear if anyone else is familiar with this style of recipe!
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