How's everyone feeling this first week of January? We've had a nice little break away and feel refreshed for the year although I'm pretty sure it won't last long! I mentioned in my previous post that I had an afternoon tea party on New Year's Day and as expected from a baking addict like me, I baked everything myself. The menu was quite extensive and it took hours to prepare but it was good fun and more importantly my guests enjoyed themselves and really enjoyed the treats.
This is what the table looked like on the day. I had to cater for vegetarian and gluten free so I made sure there was a good selection for everyone. I've included links to recipes on my blog if available. The menu consisted of:
- Variety of sandwiches inlcuding vegetarian and gluten free options (corncakes and ricecakes instead of bread)
- Homemade plain scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream
- Homemade cheese scones with bacon jam and cream cheese
- After eight chocolate mint cupcakes (recipe to follow)
- Rocky Road (gluten free)
- Lemon Meringue Kisses (gluten free)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (recipe to follow) (gluten free)
- Earl Grey Tea Cookies
- Tea Bag Cookies
- Victoria Sponge Cake
- Black Forest Gateau
- Selection of teas
I came across this idea whilst googling afternoon tea ideas. As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail and I wanted the table to look perfect. I bought a mismatched china tea set from a charity shop and a lovely tea pot in the sale. I also got the cute disposable placemats on sale which look great on the table. My friend bought me a beautiful set of colourful dishes from Royal Doulton for Christmas which went well with our colourful napkins.
These cookies are basically shortbread cookies cut to look like a teabag. I bought some craft supplies to make my own 'teabag tag' and finally dipped them in chocolate for extra indulgence. I found some really cute sparkly cupcake stickers which I used for the teabag tags and everyone was really impressed!
I'm sending this to the Biscuit Barrel challenge created by Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than... This month it's guest hosted by Alexandra from The Lass in the Apron and the theme is Innovation and Discoveries. This is certainly a new discovery for me as I've never really tried decorated cookies before. They are time consuming but the final result is well worth it.
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Place the butter and flour in a bowl and rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can use a food processor using the pulse function.
- Add in the egg, icing sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste and mix until a dough forms.
- It will be quite soft and sticky at this stage.
- Roll into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough and using a tea bag as a guide, cut out the shape of a tea bag.
- Place the cookies spaced apart on the baking tray.
- Use a straw to poke a hole near the top of the cookie as shown.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Place the chocolate in a small bowl and melt in the microwave using 10 second bursts making sure not to burn the chocolate.
- Dip the end of the cookies in the chocolate and place on a piece of parchment paper to set,
- Once completely set, tie a tag through the hole.