Friday, February 17, 2012

::DIY: Three-tiered platter::

One of the funnest things about Tea parties is the food display. Three-tiered platters are classic. I made my own using glassware from the dollar store.
~ Three-Tiered Tea Platter
1. Pick out large plate as a base.
2. Pick out a small plate for a middle.
3. Pick a small bowl for the top.
4. Finally choose two candle holders, small cups, wine glasses or, in my case, candy dishes.
5. Glue each layer on top of the other using Super Glue.
Voila! Load it up with pretty food.

Monday, February 13, 2012

::Banana Praline Scones::

I made these to be served with tea on Valentine's Day. Unfortunately we finished them all a few days before that.

Makes about 8 scones.

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • ¾ cup lightly salted macadamia nuts (or any other nut that appeals to you)
  • 2-½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2-½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons sugar for glaze (optional)
  • Generous dash of ground cinnamon for glaze (optional)

Lightly oil a 10-inch diameter circle on a baking sheet or use parchment paper. In a heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar and brandy. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook without stirring for 4 minutes, or until the mixture turns amber and caramelizes. Immediately stir in the macadamia nuts and stir to coat the nuts with the syrup. Quickly scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Cool for 20 minutes or until hardened. Transfer the mixture to a cutting board and chop the praline.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt & butter, cut into ½ inch cubes. Run the blades until the mixture resembles course crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the bananas, eggs and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. The dough will be sticky. Stir in the praline.

Spread the dough into a 9-inch diameter circle in the center of the prepared baking sheet. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the tops of the scones, if desired. With a serrated knife, cut into 8 wedges. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.

Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the scones to the wire rack to cool. Re-cut into wedges, if necessary. Serve warm.

{Recipe: "Simply Scones" Photo: "Jenny Bakes"}