A tea cookie recipe made with vanilla yogurt instead of butter
With their restrained sweetness and earthy, nutty notes, these tea cake cookies as a mid-morning treat or something to revive your lover post afternoon delight. Whatever time of day you serve them, you’ll love the simplicity of this Love Cakes recipe.
A brief history of Love Cakes
The cookies are a variation on a Mexican Wedding Cookie and Russian Tea Cakes recipe. But the Love Cake, although it shares ingredients with these two beloved cookies, is set apart by the use of one particularly notorious aphrodisiac ingredient, vanilla. (Vanilla is noted as an aphrodisiac for both sexes but the scent is alleged to drive some men wild.)
I love this style of rolled cookie because of the not-too-sweet flavor. And a tea cake is such an easy cookie recipe to make. I actually stumbled upon the existence of the Love Cake while researching the history of Russian Tea Cake cookies. (Note that these cookies are also similar to Italian Wedding Cookies. However those are typically made with almonds, which gives them a sweeter flavor than the cookies I know, which are made with more bitter walnuts or pecans.) ]
Anyway, in my research, I found a version of these tea cake cookies that was remarkably heavy on vanilla. It was neither classified as a tea cake or wedding cookie. The name of the cookie was French Love Cakes. I loved the name and the idea of vanilla-rich tea cookies. So I started playing around, experimenting with vanilla yogurt in place of butter and vanilla extract. Ultimately, I settled on a combination of both vanilla yogurt and vanilla extract.
Tea cookies with a romantic twist
The texture of the resulting cookies is different from that of a Russian Tea Cake. It’s slightly more brittle and almost has a crunch when you bite into it. I quite like the added texture. And, of course, the heavy use of vanilla gives the cookies the aroma that is a proven aphrodisiac. Of course, if vanilla doesn’t do it for you, there’s always the walnuts. Like all nuts, walnuts offer many nutritional benefits that support sexual health. (Here’s some additional information on how nuts can give your love life a boost.)
Why you should make these tea cake cookies with full-fat yogurt
It is essential that you use full-fat yogurt for this love cakes recipe. The cookies need some fat in the dough. It is essential to their chemistry. It impacts the texture and the ability of the final cookies to hold their shape.
French Love Cakes
- 1 6 oz carton full fat vanilla yogurt*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- powdered sugar for rolling
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using your hands, do the final mixing then roll into balls the size of walnuts.
- Arrange the tea cakes on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes or until they begin to brown.
- Roll in powdered sugar and serve warm.
- *For a more decadent version, use 4 oz softened, unsalted butter instead of yogurt.
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