Recipes: Tea Time Treats

Written By: Sydnah Kingrea

Cold winter days feel warmer with a cup of hot tea and a delicious freshly baked good. Scones, tea biscuits and tea cakes all pair marvelously with a warm beverage, and they are all exceptionally versatile. They can be enjoyed as a breakfast or brunch food, with coffee or tea midday or as a dessert after an evening meal. These scones and tea biscuits are a delight on their own, but they can be made even better with jam or lemon curd. The provided recipes are “just like Grandma’s.” Everyone loves an afternoon “cuppa” combined with a dense yet equally fluffy scone or a perfectly petite tea cake. Enjoy! 

Quick Chocolate Chip Scones

Dry ingredients: 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Wet ingredients:
  • ½ cup softened unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup half-and-half or heavy cream 
Final ingredient:
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 400 F. Whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring the mixture with a fork as you pour. Stir in the chocolate chips. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Press the dough into a flat ½- to 1-inch disk. If needed, add a dash of flour to the dough so it doesn’t stick to your fingers while you flatten it. Cut the disk into 6-8 triangles. Place the triangles on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 F for 12-15 minutes.

Old-Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk or buttermilk substitute (¼ cup plain yogurt or ¼ cup milk with ½ teaspoon lemon juice) 

Heat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and egg. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the contents of the bowls together, adding the buttermilk or buttermilk substitute as you combine them. Turn the dough out onto a flat, floured surface. Knead and shape into a nearly flat disk. Refrigerate until cold and remove. Cut out circular dough pieces and transfer them to a prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms begin to turn golden.

Rich Lemon Scones

Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Wet ingredients:
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat the oven to 450 F. Whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl, adding cold butter a little at time, and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring the mixture with a fork as you pour. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of floured wax paper. Press the dough into a flat ½- to 1-inch disk. If needed, add a dash of flour to the dough so that it doesn’t stick to your fingers while you flatten it. Cut the disk into 6-8 triangles. Place the triangles on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 450 F for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Cranberry-Macadamia Scones

Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Wet ingredients:
  • ¾ cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Final ingredients:
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¹/3 cup macadamia nuts

Heat the oven to 400 F. Whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl, adding cold butter a little at time, and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring the mixture with a fork as you pour. Stir in the cranberries and macadamia nuts. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of floured wax paper. Press the dough into a flat ½- to 1-inch disk. If needed, add a dash of flour to the dough so that it doesn’t stick to your fingers while you flatten it. Cut the disk into 6-8 triangles. Place the triangles on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cherry Tea Biscuits 

Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 stick of cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 
Wet ingredients: 
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
Final ingredient:
  • Frozen cherries, chopped and whole 

Heat the oven to 450 F. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, stirring in the cold butter cubes a little at a time. Add ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cream, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the chopped frozen cherries, if desired. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of floured wax paper. Press the dough into a flat ½- to 1-inch disk. If needed, add a dash of flour to the dough so that it doesn’t stick to your fingers while you flatten it. Using the rim of a cup or jar, cut out circular pieces of dough. Place the pieces of dough on a prepared baking sheet. Add 1 or 2 whole cherries to the top of each dough circle. Bake at 450 F for 13-15 minutes or until golden.

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