The Dallas Morning News

A RITE OF SPRING

Celebrate the season with a simple tea party

- By KRISTEN MASSAD Special Contributo­r Kristen Massad of Dallas, a pastry chef and graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, blogs at inkfoods.com.

It’s springtime, and a tea party is a low-maintenanc­e yet classy way to gather for friendship, baby and wedding showers, and even little-girl birthday parties.

High tea is most common in the United Kingdom and is offered in famous hotels with showstoppi­ng décor and over-the-top pastries, cookies and finger food. It might seem overwhelmi­ng to plan, but hosting a tea party can be simple.

Tables are covered in linens and your favorite china, then topped with tiered stands filled with everything from scones and tea cookies to savory fare: tea sandwiches, dainty salads and quiche. Everything is finger food.

Once you have picked out the style of your party, start planning your menu. Strawberry Lemon Scones are one of my favorites.

These tender pastries are perfect to enjoy on their own or topped with a smear of butter and jelly or filled with fresh whipped cream and strawberri­es for a satisfying strawberry shortcake. Next on my menu is always a classic tea cookie. Petite, buttery and not too sweet, tea cookies will pair perfectly next to your teacup and saucer.

Changing the flavor of these is simple and will add a special touch to your event.

STRAWBERRY LEMON SCONES

2 cups flour 1⁄4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, cubed 1 egg

1⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream, plus extra to brush on scones (divided use)

1⁄4 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 cup fresh strawberri­es, chopped Lemon glaze (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 400 F. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. With the paddle attachment, mix to combine.

Slowly add in the cold cubed butter and mix until a small crumb texture forms.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, heavy cream, sour cream and lemon juice, then add the liquid ingredient­s to the flour mixture. Before it is fully combined, slowly add the chopped strawberri­es and mix until fully combined.

Roll out the dough onto a floured surface (about 1-inch thick) and cut into 3-inch rounds. Place scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush heavy cream on the top of each scone.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or

until the edges are lightly golden.

Once the scones are removed from the oven and have slightly cooled, drizzle lemon glaze on each one.

Serve immediatel­y or store in airtight container. Scones can also be frozen to enjoy later.

Lemon glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together 2-3 tablespoon­s lemon juice and 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over scones and sprinkle lemon zest for garnish.

Makes 8 scones. PER SERVING: Calories 365 (47% from fat), Fat 19 g (12 g sat), Cholestero­l 78 mg, Sodium 348 mg, Fiber 1 g, Carbohydra­tes 47 g, Protein 4 g, Sugar 23 g

HONEY LAVENDER TEA COOKIES

1 cup unsalted butter

1 ⁄2 cup sugar 3 tablespoon­s honey 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons dried lavender

Heat oven to 350 F. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and honey.

Slowly add the flour and dried lavender to the butter mixture and slowly mix until combined.

Wrap the dough and refrigerat­e for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough onto a floured surface to approximat­ely 1⁄2 inch and cut into 2-inch squares.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown.

Makes 18 cookies. PER SERVING: Calories 168 (54% from fat), Fat 10 g(6 g sat), Cholestero­l 27 mg, No Sodium, No Fiber, Carbohydra­tes 19 g, Protein 1 g, Sugar 9g

 ?? Rex C. Curry/Special Contributo­r ?? Serve Strawberry Lemon Scones at a spring tea.
Rex C. Curry/Special Contributo­r Serve Strawberry Lemon Scones at a spring tea.
 ?? Rex C. Curry/Special Contributo­r ?? Honey Lavender Tea Cookies are a delicious companion for a cup of tea.
Rex C. Curry/Special Contributo­r Honey Lavender Tea Cookies are a delicious companion for a cup of tea.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States