Friday, September 13, 2013

Afternoon Tea Party with Muffins and Scones!

This is one of my all-time favorite party themes...

Hello Party Folks!!

Are you preparing for another party weekend at home with friends and kids?It's time to hit the kitchen with another pastry recipes perfect for everyone to enjoy...

Last night, I and my sister baked pastries to try the new oven toaster she recently bought, we wanted also to experiment some recipes for a small business. I insisted to prepare Scones instead of Cookies hehe! Scones are just the same with cookies the only difference is that with scones, a heavy cream is included as part of the ingredients, you can experiment with other dessert mixtures for this recipe but do not replace buttermilk with margarine, it will affect the creamy taste concept of scones. We also prepared Muffins and to make it a little healthier, we decided to use squash as a main ingredient instead of using flour alone.

Scones and cookies can be creatively designed using cookie cutters. I bought different designs of cookie cutters when I baked Panini Whoopies months ago, my favorite shapes are hearts and flowers, it's simply lovely and elegant to look at and it stimulates hearty appetite.

Scones are perfect for Tea and since I am often taking an afternoon tea break (a very British tradition), this sweet pastry is just so perfect. What I love about scones and tea is the perfect balance of taste: bitter and creamy, it picks my sagging energy in the afternoon. 

Most modern home parties in the western world choose Afternoon Tea Party theme to entertain guests and set a relaxing party mood at home. It is very elegant and classy. This party theme was originated in England during the Victorian Era when one of the Queen's Ladies-in-Waiting, the Duchess of Bedford, suggested to make the 4:00 0'clock in the afternoon as her tea time to invigorate her mood. The habit was pick up around England including the royal family and went on to become one of the most enduring English traditions in history that has been copied all through out the globe. Now, Afternoon Tea Party becomes the annual tradition at Buckingham Palace when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted garden parties twice a year.

So why not include this very royalty habit into our own party tradition also? It signifies glamour, elegance and relaxation. Some of the most famous Tea Party themes are Vintage and Mad Hatters Party, the latter is originally taken from Alice in the Wonderland fairytale story. 

Afternoon Tea Party is very easy to organize, all you need is to prepare the venue with lots of cut paper decorations in pastel colors, you may choose floral designs to reflect the vintage concept of tea. Prepare tea cups, hot tea variations with honey and milk as balancers for those who dislike a bitter taste. Tea foods refer to small cuts of pastries and sandwiches. Most popular tea foods are scones, cookies, biscotti, cucumber sandwiches, whoopies, truffles and canapes, cupcakes and muffins.

Here, I will introduce to you the two party tea foods: Scones and Muffins.

Sweet Kisses Scones

I called it sweet kisses because I used the heart-shaped cookie cutter for this pastry. I was not able to find a pink food color so I opted for strawberry red, it's equally elegant. 
 Heart-shaped Tea Scones
 To get this pastel shade, do not mix the food grade coloring right away before making a dough,
mix it when you are finish battering the pastry , just before you cut the dough.
 At the party, you can present the scones through different designs to make it more attractive
 Or you may use marshmallows as additional sprinklers and decorations
Oh so sweet and romantic!!

Ingredients for Sweet Kisses Scones:
All-purpose Flour
All-purpose Cream
Brown Sugar
Butter (softened)
Vanilla Extract
Baking Soda
Almond or Peanut (for toppings, optional)
Food grade coloring

Softened butter and mixed with flour and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix all-purpose cream and vanilla extract, pour in the flour mixture and mix the baking soda, make a dough then mix a little amount of food coloring enough to create a pastel design on the dough. Mix the toppings. Cut using a cookie cutter then baked for 5 minutes.

Squash Muffins:

You can create a healthy pastry using vegetables and fruits. In this muffin, we used squash. Since we forgot to buy a cupcake paper, we just used the Leche Flan setter hehe! But try to use cupcake paper for your own creation, it is more lovely to look at.
Healthy pastry: Squash Muffins!  

Ingredients of Squash Muffins:
All-purpose flour
Squash (remove the green portion)
Baking Soda
Evaporated Milk
Brown Sugar
Vanilla Extract

Grate the squash and bring to boil until tender. Mix with the remaining ingredients. Pour on the individual cupcake paper and baked for less than five minutes.

Happy home party everyone!!

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