Lapsang Souchong Blood Orange Scones

Before the season is over I swore I would make Blood Orange Scones.  Today was the day!  As I was steeping a cup of Lapsang Souchong last night, I thought it would be great to add into a scone recipe.  So I saved my tea leaves, and added them into my scones this morning.

Lapsang Souchong is a black tea that has a deep, smoky flavor when brewed.  It is great to use in a rub or in a savory sauce.  Add some into brownies to enhance the chocolatey flavor.  Either way you use it, I’m sure it will be delicious!
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I also thought it would be appropriate to make them, as I am currently reading Laura Child’s Blood Orange Brewing!  A tea shop mystery series brewing with murders, clues and tea!

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Preheat oven to 425°

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp brewed Lapsang Souchong leaves
8 TBS frozen butter (grated)
1 blood orange zested
4 TBS blood orange juice
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:
1. Combine  dry ingredients into a bowl.
2. Add the tea leaves.
3. Grate the butter into the flour mixture and toss until the butter in incorporated.
4. Add the zest, juice and cream and fold together with a rubber spatula.
5. Once  everything holds together in a dough, form it into a log and cut into squares, then into triangles.
6. Place onto parchment lined baked sheet and bake for 12-16 minutes.

Serve with honey or clotted cream.

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x Miss G

 

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

In each of my classes at school, we all generally sit in the same seats every week, next to the same people. This past Monday I ended up sitting next to my friend Ryan, which was quite a please might I add.  He said he wasn’t having a good day and all he wanted was for class to end before it even started.  I told him, “I can’t make that happen, but I can bake you something! What do you like?” He said, ” Do you make brownies?”  And I replied, “No, do you like peanut butter, or earl grey? I can make you earl grey shortbreads.”  As Ryan agreed that shortbreads would make him happy, Maddy (my friend sitting on the other side of me) added, ” you can dip them in chocolate.”  So it was settled, I would bake him Earl Grey Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and bring them to class on Wednesday.

So you may be confused about two major things
1. I don’t make BROWNIES??!?!?
2. Where are the Chocolate Dipped Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies?

To clear up the first issue, unfortunately I don’t like chocolate, so I don’t make brownies because I don’t care for them.  I am aware that it is a near catastrophe for both cases, but how can I guarantee that my brownie recipe will be great, if I don’t have a palate for quality brownies?

I did not dip my cookies for two reasons: 1. I didn’t have chocolate chips.  and 2. These cookies are melt-in-your-mouth PERFECTION! So adding a shell of chocolate seemed unnecessary in terms of both taste and texture.

With that said, I bring to you the recipe, which also includes directions for the chocolate dipped version if you wish to try it.  Enjoy!

Makes about 36

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour
3 tea bags (or 2 T) earl grey tea leaves
3/4 cup conectioners sugar
2 sticks salted butter (room temperature)

6 oz chocolate chips

1. Combine flour and tea leaves.
2. Add confectioners sugar and butter.
3. When all the ingredients are almost combined, finish the dough by quickly and loosely kneading in the loose crumbs. Flatten into a disk (about 1″ thick) and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.
4.  Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured (or powdered-sugared) work surface.  Roll the dough into a 1/3-1/4 inch thick rectangle. Cut into strips or squares or any shape your heart desires.  (I cut mine into 3 columns and 12 rows to make 36 rectangles).
* the warmth of your hands should melt the butter and make the dough workable, but if not add 1-2 tablespoons of water
5. Place cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating half way through.

For Chocolate Dip:
1. Once cookies are out of the oven and cooling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
2. Dip cooled cookies into chocolate and place on parchment paper to let the chocolate set.

xxx Miss G

Tea Party Time

Today I hosted my 2nd annual tea party!

Ever since I was a little girl, my mother has ALWAYS had a cup of tea in her hand.  Everyone always talked about their mom getting a morning cup of coffee, but mine had a cup of tea, and I thought she was special for that.  That’s why I drink tea now, I much prefer it to coffee anyway.  As I’ve grown older, I have found I enjoy hosting and entertaining guests.  Tea parties seemed like a good idea to me, so last winter I planned a tea party for my friends.  I got rave reviews, so I decided to make it a yearly tradition.

There are many traditions, etiquettes and particular ways about a tea party. One of the most misunderstood facts about tea party etiquette is that one should lift their pinky when sipping one’s tea.  NOT TRUE!  I don’t follow many of the traditions because I don’t expect my guests to know them, but this one I do.

My tea parties are small gatherings, so I break out my mom’s china and set the table for my guests.

I serve traditional items such as scones, tea sandwiches and, of course, tea.

I make raspberry scones and a few plain, served with clotted cream.  This year, unfortunately, I couldn’t find any so I use a quick, easy and delicious alternative: sour cream and sugar.

The most traditional tea sandwich is cucumber and cream cheese.  Many people are turned off by it, but it’s delicious, trust me, I had to make more for my guests earlier today.  There were four sandwiches on my menu today:
1. Cucumber and cream cheese with scallions
2. Hummus with red bell peppers
3. Peanut butter and jelly
4. Turkey and tomato with mayo
All sandwiches were served on 7 grain bread, with the crust cut off and cut into triangles.
When making your own tea sandwiches, get creative, but also keep it simple.  Don’t put too much, or too many layers.

This is my cup of english breakfast tea.  I thought I wouldn’t have enough tea cups for everyone, so I used one I got for Christmas from my sister.
Serving tea can be tricky at a tea party.  It is suggested to brew a whole pot of one type of tea, then boil a pot of water if someone would like a different kind.
I find it easier to boil a kettle of water and have my guests choose their own bag of tea.
        
Sam enjoying her tea!                       When we finished, we played poker


Hajera, Jenna, me, Sam, Kristina and Christine.  A toast to a successful tea party!

I hope you enjoyed this post and begin to plan your own tea party!  Let me know if you have any questions about hosting your own tea party, and please share details of your party.

xxx G