Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Tea Party

The Crimson Coat Chef does a tea party and passes along a new favorite recipe for Lavender Tea Cookies

Recently I was asked to do some baking for a Tea Party, I also had the opportunity to attend the Tea after my hard work and had a fabulous time. It was certainly a new experience for me! I've had the opportunity to give small workshops on formal service, and I've catered a few fancy dinners but this was just too cute. Everyone dolled up with hats and gloves, with their little tea cups enjoying some of the more esoteric teas that were being served by appropriately decked out maids; although how many actually braved the Lapsang Souchong I'm not sure.

But the food. I was asked to make curry chicken tea sandwiches, lavender cookies, scones, lemon curd and Devonshire cream. I wish I had had the opportunity to take photos of this particular event, but I forgot my camera.

I must say that the lavender cookies where a HUGE hit, personally I wasn't sure they were going to make it to the party after I tasted the first one I couldn't stop. Admittedly I am not much of a baker, but lavender cookies and scones are something anyone can make.

Lavender Cookies with Lavender Icing
1 Tbsp dried culinary lavender flowers
1 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt

In a mortar, grind the lavender flowers with the pestle. In a medium bowl, cream together ground lavender, butter, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon extract. Add flour and salt, mix until combined (dough should be soft but not sticky)
Form into a flat about 1 inch pancake, wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours or until dough is firm.
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick
Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
Place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake 12-15minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.

Lavender Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp dried culinary lavender flowers
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp light corn syrup

In a plastic bag combine the powdered sugar and lavender. Let this stand at least 1 day before using. When ready to use, sift the mixture into a medium sized bowl; discard the flowers. Add milk and corn syrup, mixing well.
NOTE: Additional powered sugar or milk may be needed to make the icing easy to spread.
Spread on cooled cookies.


kilandra said...

Where would I find dried culinary lavender flowers?

Tareena said...

I dry my own after finding the fresh flowers in the spring at local farmers markets. But high end spice shops sometimes carry them. St. Lawrence Market in TO has a fabulous spice shop that I believe carries them. And then there is always mail order, if all else fails.