Tea Time Recipes

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Cashew Apricot Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe

The big girls went out to their friends' this weekend and my little munchkin stayed home with us. She had the brilliant idea of making sweet cookies with me, and I was happy to oblige. She's only 5 years old but she's already a very strong-minded little girl. She went into the pantry and picked a bunch of ingredients and we were ready to roll.

"Jackie, can we make cashew apricot brown sugar cookies with Mrs. Winsor's honey? Please, pretty please!" she asked.

"Dried fruit and nuts in cookies? Why not!" I exclaimed.

I can never say "no" to mon p'tit coeur (my little sweetheart). I suggested that we add candied ginger and cinnamon extract and she was ok with it. I'm glad we used our family friend Mrs. Winsor's honey. She makes her own honey on her property in Virginia and sent some to us for Christmas. We've already gone through one bottle and these honey cookies got us started off on the second. I'm glad we didn't use molasses because this particular honey has such a nice floral note. The cookies turned out absolutely delicious. Merci Mrs. Winsor!!

Honey Picture


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Crepe Cake with Butterscotch Cream Recipe

Mille Crêpe, also known as Gâteau de Crêpe, is a multi-layered cake made out of crêpes. I spread layers of butterscotch buttercream in between each crêpe and topped the cake with thinly-sliced candied apples. This is quite time-consuming to make in miniature versions, but you can always make large crêpes and cut the cake into slices as you would with regular buttercream cakes.

I made the cake in honor of La chandeleur (Candlemas), which is celebrated on February 2nd. It's originally a Christian tradition that celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple and also marks the end of the Epiphany season (Kings' galettes are made). I don't exactly know how crêpes became part of the French celebration of La Chandeleur, but I do know that they are an integral part of the festivities. There is a legend that says that on the day of La Chandeleur, if you're able to flip a crêpe and make it land properly (without it being wrinkled) in the pan without dropping it on the floor, you'll have a prosperous year. Originally,  prosperity referred to a bumper crop of grain, but with fewer and fewer people farming for a living, over time it's come to imply general wealth. In a way it's an enduring testament to the agrarian culture of yore. That culture has survived in other ways too; in fact the saying avoir beaucoup de blé, which literally means "To have a lot of wheat", is slang for "being wealthy".

If you want to practice, prepare the crêpe batter a couple of days in advance, cook a few, and try to flip them. It may not fill your pocketbook, but it's a great way to fill your tummy.


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Strawberry Mint Milano Cookies (Chocolate Sandwich Cookies) Recipe

February 14th is nearly on its way, and the color of these delicious strawberry-mint thin, crisp butter cookies is reminiscent of Valentine's Day. I'm planning a super romantic dinner for Lulu. I was home alone today, so I took the opportunity to start testing out some of the dishes to make a perfect Valentine's Day dinner.

Pink was the theme color I was looking for. I couldn't find strawberry-flavored white chocolate at the store, so I substituted pink-colored mint chocolate apeels and bought some strawberry extract. The sandwich cookies freeze well, so I stacked and stored them for Valentine's Day.

Unfortunately, after taste-testing the cookies I realized I forgot to make them heart-shaped! I was a little bummed out. If you're planning on making these cookies for your sweetie, draw hearts on the other side of the parchment paper with a pencil, and pipe the cookie batter along the line of the heart. Oh well, I'm sure Lulu won't mind!

** Note: The strawberry mint Milanos are pictured with tuile cookies.


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Strawberry Muffins Recipe

Strawberry Muffins

01.14.10 by Jackie

Marbled Muffins made with homemade strawberry jelly are our family favorite. The muffin batter is  mildly sweet with a touch of acidity from the strawberry jelly. I used strawberry extract and lemon zest in the batter and repeated both flavors in the jelly.

The muffins have a subtle elegance that makes a perfect treat for tea parties or for children's birthdays or play dates. I've made them for both, and they're always a hit. The design is my own attempt at modern art; I put a dollop of the jelly on top of the batter and then use a toothpick to draw in random designs. It's not Jackson Pollock, but hey, I'm sure it tastes better than his paintings!

Strawberry Muffin Recipe with Picture


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Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Recipe

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

12.31.09 by Jackie

Salted caramel is a wonderfully complex flavor. When combined with hot chocolate, it provides plenty of stimulation for your taste buds. All of this is wrapped in a velvety blanket of milk and heavy cream that is perfect for relaxing away an evening.

Lya received three boxes of cocoa mix from her secret Santa at school. Everyone was so crazy about the salted cocoa mix that we ran out very fast. The girls asked if we could make our own from scratch. The result: a lot of fun and a delicious new recipe to ring in the New Year!

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix


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