These cakes are perfect served at tea time or to delight guests.
A FRESH-BREWED cup of tea is a soul-satisfying way to entertain guests, unwind after a long day or simply enjoy some quiet time curled up with a book. Adding a few homemade tea-infused treats can elevate your gathering to a fun and festive experience. So, tuck in with your favorite cuppa and enjoy some tea-time treats.
Makes about 1 dozen cookies
Similar to Russian Tea Cakes with tea leaves in the batter and a tea-flavored glaze, this recipe is unusual, but truly satisfying for the bergamot-loving tea drinker. Serve with Earl Grey, of course.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine flour, tea and salt. Gradually incorporate dry ingredients into butter mixture. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on baking sheet and bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Cool on a rack.
To prepare glaze, steep tea in hot milk for 5 to 10 minutes. Add butter. Stir in powdered sugar and mix thoroughly. Drizzle glaze over tea cakes before serving.
Arrange cookies on plate and garnish with edible flowers, if desired.
Makes 2 dozen
The pungency of sage is calmed by this delightful combination that is a tad fruity, a bit earthy and completely rich and delicious. Best served chilled, they are equally tasty without the topping. Pair these with a light fruit tea or rose hip or hibiscus tea.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine cookie crumbs, butter and sage in a bowl. Press mixture into the bottom of greased muffin pan, about 1 tablespoon in each well. Set aside.
Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour over crusts, filling about two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool before loosening edges with a table knife. Transfer to a serving plate or plastic container, cover and chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before serving.
Place all topping ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Remove sage leaves. Chill. Just before serving, spoon topping onto cheesecakes and garnish with fresh sage leaves.
Makes about 2 dozen
Not for the tender tummy, the warming sensation of cayenne adds an amazing Aztec flair to these chocolate cookies. Adjust the cayenne amount depending on your heat tolerance. The contrast of the sweetened cream cheese makes this treat suitable for any tea.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, salt, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, sugar and butter thoroughly in a bowl. Roll dough on a floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut 1 1/2-inch round cookies and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Combine cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Layer cheese mixture and shortbread rounds in stacks of two or three. Top with cheese mixture and sprinkle with grated milk chocolate and freshly ground peppercorns.
Makes 1 cake (or 2 dozen muffin-sized cakes)
Amazingly moist on the inside and crispy around the edges, ginger adds a subtly zippy flavor to this otherwise earthy cake. Pair with any of your favorite mild teas—you don’t want to mask the cake’s ginger flavor.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan; set aside. Mix together oats and sugars. Sift flour, salt and baking soda together and add to oat mixture. Mix in butter. Add gingerroot to hot water and steep for about 5 minutes. Add ginger water and shredded ginger to batter. Add eggs and blend thoroughly. Pour into prepared pan.
Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl. Spread mixture over the top of unbaked cake. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool. Serve cut into small squares.
Makes 6 to 8 cakes or 18 muffins
A light, moist cake, this hint of India is great served warm with the syrup on the side to spice things up.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour small fluted pans or muffin cups. Steep cardamom in water for 5 minutes. Add milk and set aside.
Combine oil and sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together flour salt and baking powder. Slowly add flour mixture to oil and sugar mixture. Pour in milk mixture. Beat thoroughly. Add egg whites and beat on high speed for about
Fill prepared pans about half full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes. If using a muffin pan, decrease cooking time by about 4 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To prepare syrup, bring 3/4 cup of the juice and sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Combine cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup juice. Slowly add cornstarch mixture to heated juice and sugar. Stir constantly while simmering until thickened. Set aside to cool, or chill in the refrigerator. Drizzle syrup onto plates or over cakes just before serving.
Makes about 8 mini loaves
Lemon lovers, you’re sure to suit your fancy with this sweet, simple cake. Slice and serve warm or cold with a sweet herb tea.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and finely chop lemon balm leaves. Steep lemon balm in hot milk for 5 minutes. Cream together butter and sugar. Add milk and lemon balm to creamed mixture.
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and add to wet mixture. Add lemon zest and eggs and mix thoroughly.
Pour into greased and floured mini loaf pans. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
— When Dawna Edwards is not feeding her passion for herbs, she enjoys spending time with friends and family in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
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