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A young and slightly ignorant woman who has always loved baking and cooking, I want to make people happy with food as often as I can. I'm here to whisk away and explore!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tea Parties and Mint Citrus Shortbread

About a week ago I was texting my sister about her return home for the Memorial Day weekend...it went like this:

Me: I'm feeling in the mood for a tea party this weekend...you down for some radical pinky up shenanigans? I need to christen my trendy tea pot and I'll make cucumber sammies!

Laura: YES

Me: And scones? We also need a third sister if it's truly to be Downtown Abbey enough, but we will make due. 

Laura: Eh, we'll stick a bonnet on Ginger and call it good. 

Me: Yes. She can be the spinster one who can't get married, obviously.

And Ginger? That's our dog. She doesn't like bonnets so we just let her eat the cookies sans head gear. Anyway, sometimes we do weird things and and plan really British tea parties for Memorial Day weekend. It's a thing, this weirdness. But it's a good thing. It brings tea! Four different kinds of tea, cucumber sandwiches, cracker and cheese...it's a good good thing.

Tea parties can be awfully inspiring. I had a bajillion and one ideas running through my head as soon as I started planning for a tea party. Petit fours, mini pound cakes, cream puffs, homemade english muffins...the options were endless. But I wanted two things for this particular tea escapade:
1. Light and tasty, matches perfectly with a warm cup of tea...
2. Had a "spring time" flavor...
3. Preferably made with herbs from our garden...
4. I wanted it to be pretty. I mean, it was a tea party, it's not too much to ask that it be cute, right?

So I took a shortbread recipe, tinkered with it, (I never can leave any recipe alone. Even when I swear I'm going to leave it completely alone and execute it as is...I end up altering something. I think it's a disease or syndrome, it's that bad.) and then decorated them nearly to death.

Also, can we take a moment and appreciate the fact that I own not one, but two types of tea pot cookie cutters? I mean, that's only two less cutters than actual tea pots. (I kinda have a need to have as many tea pots/cups/items as physically possible.) Yes. Mhm.
Okay, moment is over, cookies are now taking over this blog.



And more cookies?

This dough is uh-may-zing. It rolls like a dream, doesn't need to be chilled, and mixes up in one fell swoop. If you ever feel like a tea party that is low on the drama (No one dying or financial situations going awry like at the Downton Abbey's resident's tea parties) these are a must.

Mint Citrus Shortbread Cookies
3/4 pound (pounds, not cups!) butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 egg
2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped lemon verbena
2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped mint
zest and juice of one lime
Stick all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and stir until it combines into a beautiful dough. Turn it out onto a cold counter dusted lightly with (if your kitchen is warm, you may need to chill for 20 minutes. But this step is unnecessary most of the time.) Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with shaped cutters. Bake at 350 for 9 to 
13 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges. Watch them carefully so they do not over bake. Frost and decorate with royal icing or leave them plain. (They are delicious either way, but without the icing you can really taste the fresh herbs and citrus...)

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