Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas Brunch--Tea and scones

Day two of recipes, and we've gotten to the scones.  A friend requested scones, so I decided to try something new, a fruitcake-like scone...sort-of.

Carrie's Christmas Scones

2¼ cups flour
½ cup sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 stick butter
1 large jar maraschino cherries, drained, dried, halved
1¼ cup chopped pecans
1 cup eggnog
1 tablespoon spiced rum
1.        Preheat oven to 350.
2.       In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.  Whisk to combine.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3.       Toss in cherries and pecans and coat in flour.
4.       In a separate bowl, combine eggnog and rum.  Add wet mixture to flour to flour mixture stirring until dough is just combined.
5.       Drop balls onto prepared baking sheets.  Brush with eggnog, sprinkle with green sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
My guests seemed to enjoy them and I thought they were really this recipe is a keeper!  I served the scones with clotted cream and holiday jam.
Now for the special Christmas tea that I made with fruit juices, spices, and tea of course! 

I started with the recipe on this website.  I didn't realize when I started (really because I have no concept of liquid measurements), but the recipe on the linked page is huge.  I ended up having to change it up by default.  It is also really sweet so I increased the tea flavor to compensate.  Because of the changes, I'll go ahead and share it here.  It was very good and smelled wonderful as it simmered in the kitchen.

Christmas Tea

Base recipe ONLY  (ingredients will be added on the party day as described below)
1 Cinnamon stick
 1 TBSP WHOLE cloves
 1.5 cups sugar  (I think you could substitute this for artificial sweetener if desired)
 2 cups apple cider
Juice of 1 lemon
 1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
4 black tea bags (VERY strong)
2 cups boiling water
Bring cider to a boil, add cinnamon sticks, cloves, and sugar.  Boil for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, also brew the tea bags in the 2 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes.  Strain the spices out of the apple cider mixture.  Combine all ingredients.  Place in refrigerator overnight (I just poured it into an empty 1/2 gallon jug.   

Steps for the Day of the Party

On the day of the party, pour into a pot and add two cups water.  Once the mixture has come to a boil, take off heat and pour into a crock pot to keep warm (I used the warm setting of my pot).   Add two cinnamon sticks and a tablespoon of whole cloves.

 I would recommend that you taste the mixture at this point.  If you would like a stronger tea flavor (like me), bring four cups of water to a boil.  Add 4 black tea bags to two cups of the boiling water.    Add tea and the remaining two cups of water.  Regardless, you should add as much tea or plain water (or both) as you think you need too to dilute the taste and cut down on the sweetness.       

I should have done a better job of writing down what I did, but it was a bit of trial and error.  This recipe was a great way to use some of the black tea in my stash that is too strong for my plebian tastes.

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