Tea Time Recipes

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Buttermilk Cherry Scones Recipe

Buttermilk Cherry Scones

05.04.10 by Jackie

Scones are sort of like a sweetened version of biscuits. I used buttermilk to wet the dough, as you would for biscuits, but I then added dried cherries for sweetness. You don’t want the scones to be as sugary as French pastries, because scones are typically eaten with jam. I spent most of my childhood vacations in Great Britain, and what I remember most is how wonderful English breakfast and tea time food was. Between the wonderful tea selections, orange marmalade and scones, I can't recall better breakfast fare anywhere else.

This weekend I felt like introducing my little 5-year-old munchkin to the scones I enjoyed in my childhood. She helped me measure everything, all the while proudly spelling out loud every single ingredient while nibbling on the extra dried cherries. She's in kindergarten and is so eager to learn. Cooking with children is a great way to give them a little knowledge about food, while at the same time introducing them to spelling and a little bit of math. Teaching small children how to read and count should be kept fun and lighthearted, and I can’t think of a better way to do so.


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Pandan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Recipe

Pandan cookies always intrigue the guests who come to our house. The green color from the pandan paste makes the cookies very original, and after the first bite, our guests are amazed at how great they taste. Daddy's friend, who lives in Minnesota, loved them so much that I decided to send a basket of two dozen cookies to him as a care package.

When I was a child, Maman would use pandan leaves to flavor steamed jasmine rice. It's also used in many Vietnamese desserts, such a rau câu. That inspired me to try using pandan in Western dessert recipes.

I often fuse the ingredients of one cooking tradition with the recipes of another. It’s a great way to create new dishes. In fact, the very first recipe posted on PhamFatale.com was for pandan cookies. In that recipe, I used pistachios and white chocolate chips. Both are great, but I think the cocoa in semi-sweet chocolate pairs especially well with pandan. Changing ingredients and coming up with new dishes is a big part of the culinary journey I've been sharing with you for a year and a half. After all, that's what cooking is all about. The history of cooking is really the history of the migration of people from one place to another. As they traveled, they adopted and adapted the local cuisine, creating many of the classic dishes we enjoy today. I hope you enjoy my small contribution to this tradition.


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Kumquat Drink Recipe (Orangina) Recipe

Kumquat Drink Recipe (Orangina)

04.18.10 by Jackie

Our kumquat trees have been so prolific this season that I thought it was time for me to experiment and re-create my favorite soda, Orangina, from scratch. In France, Orangina is a very popular sparkling beverage made from tangerine and oranges. I've tried making this with oranges in the past, but the citrus flavors weren't strong enough to resemble the famous drink. Since kumquats have a unique, strong, lemony flavor, I gave the fruit a try.

I've made homemade soda drink in the past, using dry active yeast (I'll post the recipe this summer) but unfortunately because of the cold weather (I assume), after 3-4 days, the fizz didn't happen. So I re-made it using carbonated water. Because the process is immediate, you'll be able to enjoy a delicious soft drink right away. The soda is very flavorful and has a striking orange color -not the radioactive hue of artificial orange drinks-. If you can find kumquats at your local market, give this a try. Your taste buds will thank you!


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Kumquat and Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Chocolate chip cookies are so classic that one might ask, why mess with perfection? Well, I think my kumquat and chocolate chip cookies are the answer to that question. Citrus and chocolate are a great pair in desserts, and this is no exception. The zing of the rind really enhances the creamy quality of the chocolate.

I decided on kumquat preserves because I still had one jar leftover from last season (I'm making more today!). For the cookie dough, I mixed butter, brown sugar, finely chopped fresh kumquat zest and whole wheat flour for texture and a little nutrition. It provides a nice canvas for the morsels of chocolates and chunks of preserved kumquats.

If you're still skeptical that kumquats can enhance the flavor of chocolate chip cookies, there's really only one solution; make them yourself! You won't be disappointed.


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Banana Almond Butterscotch Cookies Recipe

Butterscotch, freeze-dried banana chips and sliced almonds may not be the first ingredients to come to mind when making cookies, but they work incredibly well together. The crunch of the almonds and bananas is a great foil to the soft and creamy butterscotch chips. To reinforce the flavors, I added banana extract to the brown sugar cookie dough. The cookies taste fantastic, right out of the oven.

If you have a little extra time on your hands, make an extra batch so you can freeze the cookie dough for later use. We had some surprise company for tea this weekend, so I needed to whip up a plate of cookies. I just pulled out a log from the freezer, cut it into discs and popped them in the oven. They taste so much better than store-bought cookies, and when you pull them out of the oven, ooey gooey and piping hot, you'll look like an absolute rockstar!


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