A Smorgasbord of Comfort Food

By Jennifer Hallmark
Comfort food. Yum! Think of food that makes you feel good. Or maybe food that brings back wonderful memories of childhood or home cooking, like my grandmother’s homemade beet soup, borscht.

This month, we’re going to share recipes and stories about happy times and good memories. I’m up first and I want to talk about cookies. To me, there’s nothing better than a hot cookie out of the oven. The warm, sugary aroma draws you in as you spatula the baked piece of heaven off the cookie sheet onto your palm, then shift it from hand to hand to keep from getting burnt. That first bite into the melt-in-your-mouth confection brings to mind fun with my children, Christmas, and bake sales.

I’ll share two recipes with you today: Mama Landers Tea Cakes and Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cookies. My husband, Danny’s grandmother made the best tea cakes and I’ve taken a peanut butter cookie recipe and made it dairy-free, for me.

Hope you enjoy the cookies!

IMG_20150304_165755157Mama Lander’s Tea Cakes

My husband Danny’s favorite cookies are his grandmother’s tea cakes. A simple recipe, the shortening makes them light and just a little crusty, delicious with a cup of coffee or glass of cold milk.

Yield: 2 ½ dozen

1 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 cups self-rising flour

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla


Melt shortening and let cool for five minutes. Mix all ingredients together in order. Take a teaspoon at a time of the dough and roll into small balls. Roll in sugar. Add to cookie sheet. Press the top of each cookie with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees until lightly brown on bottom.


Here is my all-time favorite peanut butter cookie recipe, made without dairy, of course.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup light or lactose free Blue Bonnet margarine (its dairy-free)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Thoroughly cream butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg and vanilla with mixer.  Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl.  Stir flour mixture into butter mixture with spoon.  Shape into one inch balls; roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet and criss-cross with fork.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes; don’t overbake.  Serves 4 dozen.

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