Billie Dickinson stirs up fond memories in the kitchen when she bakes delicacies such as her grandmother’s Tea Cakes.

"Most of the recipes I have come from my grandmother, including my tea cakes," writes Billie Dickinson of Silverdale, Washington. "She was an amazing cook, whether it was everyday meals, such as casseroles, soups and stew, or specialty candies, cookies or breads for Christmas. It’s funny how you remember good food from your childhood. I even remember the plates and serving dishes my grandmother used."

"I still have the recipe cards she wrote out for me," adds Billie. "On each one, she would write from whom she got the recipe--sometimes an old friend, or her own grandmother. I scan those cards and give copies to each of my children. Some of the recipes are from their great-great-great-grandmother. Wow!"

"More than half the battle of being a good cook is getting good recipes to start with," confides Billie. "Even if you have basic cooking skills down, you won’t do well if you don’t have good information."

To try another of Billie’s grandmother’s recipes, pick up a copy of the Penzeys Spices Spring Catalog and check out her Oatmeal Pie (page 53).


Tea Cakes

These pretty, rich, buttery cookies from Billie Dickinson are wonderful as part of an Easter brunch or for a wedding or baby shower.


  • 1 Cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1¼ Cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1½ tsp. PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
  • 2 Cups flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ Cup finely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.)

Cream together the butter, ¾ cup of the powdered sugar and the VANILLA. Add the flour and salt and mix well. Fold in the nuts. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll the dough into balls a bit smaller than a golf ball. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake until BARELY brown at the edges, 22-25 minutes. Don’t overbake. While the cookies are still warm, place in a bag with the remaining powdered sugar and shake gently to coat.

Prep. time: 15 minutes plus chilling time
Baking time: 22-25 minutes
Serves: 24-36

Nutritional Information: Servings 18;
Serving Size 2 tea cakes (19g); Calories 100; Calories from fat 60; Total fat 6g; Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 70mg; Carbohydrate 10g; Dietary Fiber 0g.

Tea Cakes



Need any spices for this recipe?

Description Price Quantity
Single Strength Vanilla 4 oz. Bottle $13.99