Tea time

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high tea at the phonician desserts, finger sandwiches and champagne

My girlfriends and I met at The Phoenician in Arizona for high tea, a gorgeous setting made even better by fancy teas, dainty desserts and delectable finger sandwiches. Not a detail was missed. The best part? Getting to play dress up with some of my very favorite ladies. The theme was of course, hats and vintage, so I went straight to my collection of fashions that my grandmother has given me, and her hat, dress and jewelry were a hit and so much fun to wear.

high tea at the phoenician girls day out

I have gorgeous friends, right?? We had such a great time – I must remember this theme for a girls’ get-together at my house soon. Here are a few tea party recipes I’ve had tucked and need to try:

Blueberry tea cake

blueberry tea cake - tea party recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. dark rum
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a bowl, stir together the 2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom. Set aside.

To make the batter by hand: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until thick and fluffy. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the 8 Tbs. melted butter, the rum and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the yogurt and beginning and ending with the flour, and stir just until smooth.

To make the batter with an electric mixer: In a large bowl, combine the eggs and brown sugar and beat on low speed until thick and fluffy. Add the 8 Tbs. melted butter, the rum and lemon zest and beat just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the yogurt and beginning and ending with the flour, and beat on low speed just until smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with the spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar. It can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Makes one 8-inch square cake.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).

Chicken-cucumber canapes

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 3/4 cup peeled, seeded, diced cucumber
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 84 white or wheat sandwich bread slices (about 4 loaves)
  • Minced fresh parsley (optional)
Preparation:
  1. Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise. Stir in chicken and next 7 ingredients. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.
  2. Cut bread slices with assorted 2 1/2-inch cutters, reserving trimmings for other uses. Spread half of bread shapes with chicken mixture; top each with a matching bread shape. Roll sandwich edges in parsley, if desired.
  3. Note: To make finger sandwiches, cut crusts from 42 bread slices (about 2 loaves). Spread half of slices with filling; top with remaining bread slices. Cut each sandwich into 4 equal strips. Roll edges in parsley, if desired.

From Jane Jolly, Austin, Texas, Southern LivingJune 1998

Cucumber avocado tea sandwiches with fresh herbs

cucumber avocado finger sandwiches for tea party

Ingredients:

For the spread:
2 ripe avocados, kept cold in the fridge
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
2 tablespoon fresh chopped dill

To serve:
12 slices white bread
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

Preparation:

First prepare the spread. Remove the pit from the avocados, and scoop into a food processor along with the lemon juice and salt. Puree until completely smooth, and add the cucumber and pulse until cucumber is finely chopped. Add the mint and dill and pulse again. You just want them well incorporated into the mid, not pureed.

Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes or so to let the flavors marry, and then taste for salt and seasonings.

To assemble:
Spread the avocado mixture onto all 12 slices. Add a single layer of cucumber on 6 of the slices. Now close each sandwich. Cut off the crusts, and cut each sandwich into 4 equal pieces, either squares or triangles.

Serve topped with extra herbs, or lettuce. In this pic, I topped them with pea shoots.

From The Post Punk Kitchen

Rolled olive finger sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 24 thin sandwich bread slices
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup diced salad olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation: 

  1. Remove crusts from bread; reserve crusts for another use. Flatten bread slices with a rolling pin.
  2. Stir together cream cheese and remaining ingredients. Spread 2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture on 1 side of each bread slice. Roll up tightly; cover and chill at least 4 hours. To serve, cut each roll into 4 slices.

From Southern Living, November 2001

Flower cut-out tea sandwiches

flower cut-out tea sandwich recipes

I love, love, love this idea for creative tea sandwiches. Food blogger, Ellie, on Home Cooking In Montana recommends the following fillings for your finger sandwiches:

Savory:

  • egg salad with celery
  • cucumber/chive cream cheese spread with dill
  • Canadian ham/green onion cream cheese spread with curry
  • smoked salmon/cream cheese spread with capers
  • tuna salad
  • chicken/pecan salad
  • boursin cheese with crumbled bacon
  • crab salad
  • shrimp salad
  • sundried tomato/goat cheese spread
  • olive tapenade
  • ajvar/roasted vegetable spread
 Non-savory:
  • nutella/raspberry preserves
  • peanut butter/jelly
  • almond butter/jam
  • butter/jam
Get the cut-out tutorial from her cute blog!

Cucumber salmon watercress tea sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cucumber
  • 3 ounces cold smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon trimmed, minced watercress
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 12 whole wheat bread slices
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup trimmed, minced watercress

Preparation: 

  1. Process cream cheese in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.
  2. Add finely chopped cucumber and next 4 ingredients; process until well blended.
  3. Cut 2 rounds out of each bread slice using a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Spread cheese mixture evenly on one side of half of bread rounds. Top with remaining bread rounds. Carefully spread the cut outer edges of sandwiches with butter. Dip edges in 1/2 cup minced watercress, coating evenly. Cover and chill 2 hours.

From Southern Living, Janurary 2003

Tea sachet shortbread cookies

tea bag shortbread cookies recipe

And of course… let’s not forget these little gems! With a little time and patience, these darling tea sachet cookies could be a show-stopper. Thank you, Pinterest!  See the full post >

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