Now that you’re all tea experts, its time to move onto the final two components of a proper TEA PARTY – presentation and snacks.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
*An ultra-girly tablecloth (if your boyfriend hates it its perfect)
*Three-tiered cake stand
*Something porcelain to house your sugar, milk, and/or cream
*Serving dishes for your garnishes
*3 Teapots (I suggest including 3 different teas)
*Tea bags (if you’re serving loose-leaf teas)
*Cups and Saucers
*A bouquet of flowers (put most of them in a vase, and use the rest to garnish your scones and cookies for a ridiculously elegant look)
What I find works best is the traditionally English, high tea set-up – consisting of sandwiches, cookies, and scones. It looks beautiful and is exceptionally filling.
FIRST TIER: Crust-less Finger Sandwiches (3 types).
Grab the freshest, softest bread you can find (white or whole-wheat).
Cut off the crusts, split into fours, and serve!
*Smoked salmon with cream cheese
*Cucumber with sour cream and fresh dill
*Tomato and watercress
SECOND TIER: Shortbread Cookies.
You can make these in a variety of shapes. You can also customize these to your taste by adding pecans, lavender, chocolate, cinnamon, espresso powder, or lemon zest; the options are endless. They’re really easy to make, and keep for up to a week in an airtight container, or several months if frozen.
*2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
*¼ teaspoon (2 grams) salt
*1 cup (2 sticks – 226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature (please don’t substitute with margarine)
*½ cup (60 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar
*1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, with an electric or hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth (approx. 1 minute). Add sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Gently stir in the flour and salt mixture until incorporated.
Flatten the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. If you’re running out of time, you can stick it in the freezer for ½ an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼ inches thick. Cut into circles (with a cookie cutter or drinking glass) or to your desired shape.
Place the cookies on the baking sheet and place in the fridge for 15 minutes, this will help maintain their shape.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly brown. Cool on rack, and enjoy!
Makes about 20 cookies
THIRD TIER – Yummy Cream Scones!
I have tested out over a dozen scone recipes, and after a tireless search for the ultimate scone I’ve got to say, the JOY OF BAKING recipe rocks! This recipe is by far superior to the rest, the scones turn out wonderfully, and keep very well too.
*2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
*¼ cups (50 grams) granulated white sugar
*2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*1/3 cup (76 grams) cold unsalted butter
*1 large egg, lightly beaten
*1 teaspoon (5 grams) of pure vanilla extract
*1.2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream or milk (I find that half and half tastes the best)
*raisons or sugared/dried papaya (optional)
*1 large egg, lightly beaten
*1 tablespoon cream or milk
*Clotted cream or whipped cream
*Jam or marmalade
*Lemon curd (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the batter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pasty blender or two knives (your hands will do just fine also). The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
In a small measuring cup combine the whipping cream/milk, beaten egg, and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.
Optional: If desired, you may add either raisons or diced sugared/dry papaya to the batter.
Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 1 ½ inches thick. Cut this circle into 8 triangular sections.
You can also cut the dough into rounds with a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter.
Make a glaze of one well-beaten egg with 1 tablespoon of cream or milk. Brush the tops of the scones with this mixture. This helps brown the tops of the scones during baking.
Bake for about 15 – 18 minutes or until lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Remove from oven and turn broiler on high. Sift confectioners sugar over the top of the scones and place them under the broiler for a few seconds, until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 8 triangular scones or 10 circular