Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Welcome to our Online "Welcome Spring" Tea Party!!

Tea party fun!

I'm so very excited to welcome Spring this year -- I love the new life bursting forth all around me.
And I'm happy to welcome my lovely daughter Mercy home from a nearly three-month trip to Africa and Europe. She shared a little of her reaction to her adventures with us during the webinar session Thursday evening. We look forward to more stories and photos on her blog once she updates it. http://www.mmorecraft.blogspot.com/

Mercy and a new friend in Nairobi, Kenya

I promised to post some of the recipes you shared with me -- here are a few:

Iced Sugar Cookies

The McKellar Girls' Sugar Cookies
6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1 tsp. salt
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. In another bowl, measure out and mix dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time until the flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a floured counter to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake for 8-14 minutes. When cool, decorate with glaze icing.

Cherish, Feliciti and Thea McKellar brought delicious cookies to our tea
Here are some recipes for the tea party from Emily Nicholas, one of my students who lives "down under." She says, "I have chosen some traditional Australian recipes." They sound delicious!

(Lamingtons are said to be named after Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland from 1895 to 1901.)

The cake is easy to handle if it is a little stale; day old cake is ideal. Sponge or butter cake can be used. Lamingtons can be filled with jam and cream, if desired.

6 eggs
2/3 cup castor sugar (I think you call it superfine sugar.)
1/3 cup cornflour
1/3 cup self-raising flour
2 (180g or 6 oz. )cups desiccated coconut, approximately

Icing ingredients:
4 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
15g (about 1/2 oz.) butter, melted
2/3 cup milk

Grease 23cm (9 in.) square slab pan. Beat eggs in medium bowl with electric mixer about 10 minutes, or until thick and creamy. Gradually beat in sugar, dissolving between additions. Fold in triple-sifted flours. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake in a moderate oven about 30 minutes. Turn onto wire rack to cool.

Cut cake into 16 squares, dip squares into icing, drain off excess icing, toss squares in coconut. Place lamingtons on wire rack to set.

Sift icing sugar and cocoa into heatproof bowl, stir in butter and milk. Stir over pan of simmering water until icing is of coating consistency.

Makes 16

Here's another one that sounds so good. I love knowing the history behind the recipes. Thanks, Emily.

Anzac Biscuits
(Variations of Scottish oatmeal biscuits were made at home and sent to soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) in World War I. However, the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT, suggests that they were not named Anzac Biscuits until after World War I, when they were made and sold as fund-raisers for returned soldiers.)

child's thistle and violets tea set on faux-painted tea table
Ingredients: 1 cup rolled oats                                              
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut
125g (6 1/2 oz.) butter
40g (1 1/2 oz.) golden syrup (A cheap sugar syrup here in Australia but probably very expensive in the States. You could use molasses or corn syrup, but I think a mixture of both is closer to the consistency, taste, etc. of golden syrup.)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon boiling water (sounds weird, but your tablespoon is only 15 ml, while ours is 20ml.)

Combine oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut. Combine butter and golden syrup, stir over gentle heat until melted. Mix bicarbonate of soda with boiling water, add to melted butter mixture, stir into dry ingredients. Take teaspoonfuls of mixture and place on lightly greased oven trays; allow room for spreading. Cook in a slow oven 20 minutes. Loosen while warm, then cool on trays.

Makes about 35

(Remember to check the conversions in measurements from the Australian/British to American measurements.)
from Emily Nicholas
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

a lovely tea party guest helps herself to another cup

This one sounds so simple and really yummy!                   
Mini Tea Tarts
from Mikaela Vaughn

-1 package filo shells
-Several fillings such as vanilla or chocolate pudding, and vanilla or berry yogurt.
-Toppings: Whip cream, chocolate chips, berries, or coconut.

Fill the tarts and place them on a pretty plate. Then decorate the tops however you like. They are so easy to make, and very delicious.
Thanks to all of you for the recipes -- if you'd like to share your recipes or photos from your own tea party, send them to me at mrs.morecraft@gmail.com and we'll try to include them in a future post.

Here are some more photos from the tea party we held at my house -- thanks to my great photographer, Marissa Schmidt! She's soooo good, isn't she?

my favorite demitasse cup and saucer

Italian wedding cookies -- from the Bowman girls

mmmm! chocolate cake -- always a favorite

a chintz-flowered china cup in a gloved hand -- lovely
Feliciti McKellar graced our day with her violin presentation
Check back tomorrow for more photos!!
Here's one more recipe:

Pumpkin Spice Drop Scones

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon ( I put a little extra in! )
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into ¼ -inch pieces
1/3 to ½ cup raisins
½ cup canned pumpkin*
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk ( approximate )
1 cup powdered ( confectioner’s ) sugar
* When purchasing canned pumpkin, make sure there are no spices or sugar added.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with vegetable-oil cooking spray. ( You can also cover the baking sheet with parchment paper.)

In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. With pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until particles are the size of small peas; stir in raisins. NOTE: When making scones, work the dough quickly and do not over mix.

In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, 1/3 cup milk, and egg. Fold wet ingredients. Stir just until mixed.

NOTE: Scones can be cut into any shape you desire. Use a dinking glass to make circles or cut into squares or wedges with a knife. Dip the edges of the cutter in flour to prevent sticking. Do not pat the edges of the scone down, instead leave the cuts as sharp as possible to allow the scones to rise in layers. OR… Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet, 2 inches apart to allow for spreading, making 10 mounds. ( I ALWAYS get more out than that.)

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, frost while still warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.

While scones are baking, combine 3 tablespoons of milk and powdered sugar until a thin frosting is obtained. You may need to add either more milk or powdered sugar for the correct consistency.

Yield: 10-15 scones

from Megan Knudten

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Mmmmm! We had homemade pizza for dinner, then we had lemonade, Chex Mix, and M&M cookies after. :P It was simply scrumptious! :)