Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jolene's Scones

3 ¼ c. flour
½ c. sugar
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add
1 c. buttermilk
¾ c. butter (softened but not melted)
For cinnamon chip scones mix in 1 c. cinnamon chips
For raspberry white chocolate scones add 1 c. white chocolate chips and about 1/3 to 1/2 c. fresh raspberries (the raspberries make the dough really sticky and messy so they are a bit more difficult to mix in)
Divide the dough into two balls and then form them into 7 in. circles. Coat the top with melted butter and sprinkle generously with raw cane sugar. Cut each of the circles into 8 and place them on ungreased cookie sheet. They do expand while baking so space them out a bit!
Bake at 425 for 10-14 min.

NOTE: I didn't even get one of these. They were so good that all 90 were eaten!

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

These can be made one or two days before the Tea and refrigerated.
This recipe assumes 8-count packs of 10-12 inch tortillas. Cut into eighths, it will yield about 192 pinwheels.

3 packages of large sized flour tortillas
2 8-ounce cream cheese
1 packages dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
2 cups mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2 cups shredded cheese (or cheese slices)
thin sliced ham

Mix cream cheese, dressing mix, and mayo until it is spreadable. Add shredded cheese. (unless you’re using sliced cheese)

Spread an even layer over tortillas and top with a layer of ham (and cheese, if using slices). Roll up as firmly as possible and put in an airtight container. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Slice each tortilla into about 8 circular finger sandwiches. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Note: We always run out of these. The girls love them!

Cashew Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

75 ounces drained canned chicken
24 oz water chestnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups cashews, chopped
12 stalks celery, finely chopped
6 tbsp. finely chopped onion
juice of 1 fresh lemon
3-4 cups mayonnaise/Miracle Whip
6 tsp dill

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Slice Pate au Choux breads in half and add about 1 tablespoon of this filling to each. The method for the breads is here and the recipe is here. Makes about 200 finger sandwiches.

You can cut the celery, water chestnuts and onion several days ahead of time. Add the cashews just before serving.

Brownie bites

This is a post promoting a rather silly product rather than a recipe, I suppose. (And just why did my photo come out sideways?) Anyway, this is a photo from my 2010 Mother/Daughter Tea showing the easiest item on the menu. I started with a boxed brownie mix and topped it with canned frosting and theme-colored sprinkles. Since everything at the Tea MUST be cute, cutting them into the typical not-quite-even squares will just not do!

I used a Wilton Brownie Cutter which, in addition to making these uniform little delights, also picks them up out of the pan as they cut. Basically, they get stuck (but not in a bad way) in the cutter and can easily be pushed out onto the plate. Usually, I wouldn't even consider purchasing a unitasker like this for the kitchen, but it really does make the job easier and it saves all those crunchy, chewy brownie pan edges for someone who'll appreciate them.

The frosting was squiggled on with a #47 tip.

Petit Fours

Derived from the French for "small oven," these small, iced cakes are a nice addition to any tea party. As much as I'd love for mine to look like this ...

... I just don't like cake well enough to put the work into it. Instead, I start with a secret ingredient --

Cut them into fourths (Flip them over and use a chef's knife to keep the manufacturer's icing from cracking on the top.)

Dip the cut edges into a white, poured fondant.

And decorate. These matched our 2010 retro, brown/teal theme, but I typically pipe a buttercream leaf and small flower on each.

Fondant Recipe:
3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c water
1 T. light corn syrup
1 tsp. almond extract
Place sugar in saucepan. In a small bowl, combing water and corn syrup. Mix well. Add to sugar and stir well until mixed. Place over low heat (never exceed 100 º). When mixture is completely smooth and heated through, remove from heat and stir in flavor and color. Briefly reheat the icing as it cools, so it will continue to stick to the cake. (You'll know when it's time.)
Place on waxed paper or parchment to cool.

NOTE: For some reason, I had to add a little more water to make it work this year.
Each package makes 40 little cakes.

Mini Cheesecakes

These bite-sized delights are easy to make, take about 1/3 of the baking time of a full-sized cheesecake, and freeze well.

Start with paper liners in a mini-muffin pan.
The chocolate crusts in mine are these lo-cal Oreo snacks.

From there, mix a batch of your favorite cheesecake batter. This one is:
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
(Add 1/4 cup cocoa if you want chocolate cheesecakes.)

Combine cream cheese, sugar, cocoa and vanilla.
Mix until blended.
Add eggs, one at a time mixing well.
Spoon filling over crusts.
Bake at 325 º for 20 minutes.
I used a #60 food scoop (capacity - about 1 tablespoon) to fill each cup neatly.

After the cheesecakes cool, they'll freeze for up to 3 months. Top them when cool (or thawed). I topped these with a little Nutella.

NOTE: For this year's Tea Party, I used 5 cream cheese, 1.25 c sugar, 3.5 tsp. vanilla, 5 eggs. Yield: 107 cheesecakes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chilled Strawberry Soup

4 cups strawberries (can use frozen)
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream (can use vanilla yogurt instead or a combination)
1/2 cup cold water

Blend strawberries in a blender. Add to a saucepan, whisk in sugar and sour cream. Stir in cold water. Stir constantly over low heat until heated through; do not boil. Chill thoroughly, perhaps overnight. Serve up and eat until all gone.

Source: Ann Tristani

Cucumber Sandwiches - 2 options

What would a proper tea party be without cucumber sandwiches?
Below are two recipes I've used and liked:

1 Loaf Cocktail Rye Bread or 1 Bag Bagel Chips
1 - 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup sour cream
1 envelope dry Italian seasoning
1 cucumber, sliced thin

Mix Italian seasoning into softened cream cheese. Spread onto bread slices. Top with cucumber slice and garnish with spring of parsley if desired.

I also like this recipe:
1 medium cucumber with seeds removed
1 tsp. VERY finely chopped onion
12 ounces cream cheese
2 Tbls. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce (be sure to measure it ;-)

Cocktail Rye bread

Peel and grate the cucumber. Put cucumber into a strainer that has been lined with cheesecloth. Place the strainer over a bowl and refrigerate for an hour. Wring as much liquid as possible from the bag. Combine all ingredients, adding more mayonnaise if necessary to get a spreading consistency.

Either way, I use a double batch for my 100 person tea party and I make the spread part several days ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend. Sandwiches are assembled the day of the tea.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lemon Poppyseed Bread

1 pkg. lemon cake mix
1 (3.75 oz.) pkg. instant lemon pudding
1/4 c butter
1/4 c oil
1 c hot water
1/4 c poppyseed
4 eggs

Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix 4 minutes. Pour into two 9 X 5 greased bread pans. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.

Makes 2 loaves.

NOTE: This bread can be made up to a month ahead of time and frozen until you need it.

Fresh Citrus Curd

1 medium lemon
1 medium orange
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
4 eggs, beaten

Squeeze 1/4 cup of juice each from the lemon and orange.

In heavy saucepan, combine butter, sugar, and juice. Heat gently until butter is melted. Stir in eggs, combining completely. Cook over low heat until mixture thickens, about 20 minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn't stick or scorch. Cool. Pour into container and keep tightly covered for up to two weeks.

I doubled this recipe for my tea party of about 100 people.
I used bottled lemon juice (no orange juice), to make it extra tangy.

Mock Devon Cream

1 cup (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar

Blend until completely smooth. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 2 weeks.

NOTES: Do not use light cream cheese or sour cream. I doubled this recipe for our tea party of approximately 100 people.