You’ll be glad to know our tea party went off without a hitch!
We served strawberry scones and white chocolate bark:
lemon cake and ginger snaps:
cucumber bites and sandwiches:
Our friend Shawndalynn brought some lemon shortbread cookies, and they were very tasty:
Today is yummy recipe day!
Some of today’s treats were from my cooking idol, Ina Garten. Click on the links for these recipes:
I followed the lemon cake recipe exactly as written. I added twice the amount of strawberries to the scones, cut them in to smaller squares (around 3-4″), then baked for 16-18 minutes.
For the white chocolate bark I didn’t follow Ina’s advice to buy Valrhona chocolate. They don’t sell it at Crest and it is not in the yarn shop’s budget. I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips, even though Ina said not to use chips. They tasted great anyway. I also could not find shelled pistachios at Crest that weren’t funky flavored. My advice is to not shop 2 hours before you need to make these so you have time to find the right pistachios. Mr. SWAK took pity and shelled them for me, otherwise I would have had to pull an all-nighter and had no nails left on my fingers. He comes in rather handy sometimes.
The gingersnaps were a snap to make!
- ¾ cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup dark molasses
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- plus ½ cup sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350º
In electric mixer beat shortening for 30 seconds, add sugar and mix on medium until fluffy. Add egg and dark molasses and mix well. In separate bowl combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt with a metal whisk until well blended. Slowly add flour mixture to shortening mixer until just combined.
Shape dough into 1″ balls, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture and bake 9-10 minutes, until slightly cracked. Cool on a wire rack and store in air-tight container.
Here’s how you make the sandwich spread:
Herbed Cream Cheese
- 2, 8oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
Seed and fine grate cucumber. Large grate the onion, you should have around ½ cup. Combine all ingredients in a mixer.
For the sandwiches: Cut the crusts off a wheat or multi-grain sandwich bread. Thinly spread herbed cream cheese onto two slices. You will be cutting these sandwiches into triangles, so you need to place two thin slices of cucumber on one slice of bread positioned so you won’t cut through the cucumber when slicing the sandwich. Place the other slice on top, and cut into a triangle. To keep the bread from drying out, place a damp paper towel on top and cover tightly with foil.
For the bites: Cut a cucumber into thick slices, ¾ to 1″ thick. Lay flat on a tray and gently scoop out the seeds on the top side only. Place herbed cream cheese into a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe onto each slice of cucumber. Top each bite with a cherry tomato sliced in half lengthwise. Lightly sprinkle with paprika.
I would recommend putting the cream cheese spread in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so before making the bites. I made them immediately after making the spread this morning and the spread was very soft. Great for spreading sandwiches, but not so great for making bites. It would have been better if it was firmed up a little bit so it would hold its star shape and the tomato. You don’t want it too firm though, because that would not work well at all.
They had fabulous English cucumbers at Sam’s, which is what I prefer. You need not seed them (except when taking out a little scoop for the cucumber bites). Regular cucumbers also work fine.
And Shawndalynn was kind enough to share her shortbread cookie recipe with us. She is always on the hunt for low-carb recipes and made lemon flavored bells and maple flavored leaves. Both were really good!
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp lemon extract -or- ½ tsp maple extract
Preheat oven to 350º. In electric mixer beat butter for 30 seconds, add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl, then add slowly to butter mixture. Add lemon or maple flavoring. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll out dough on a floured surface, and cut into desired shapes. Bake for 15-25 minutes
She baked the bells for 15 minutes, but they were really small. The larger leaves took 25.
Enjoy the recipes! You can join us for our next Holiday Tea tomorrow (Saturday) from 11-2. A tasty time will be had by all.