Monday, April 29, 2013

April Tea ~ lemon Cream Sandwich Cookies

High time we posted our tea recipes for April! Sweet and simple this month... 

 Lemon Sandwich Cookies
These lemon filled cookies are quick to make, tender, sweet and tangy... perfect for tea. We love the special baking ingredients available from King Arthur, and this recipe uses something they offer, lemon juice powder!  

  • Directions: 
In a large bowl combine the following: 

  •    1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  •    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  •    1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  •    2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice powder (available from King Arthur Flour, here)
  •    1/2 tsp sea salt
  •    1 cup unbleached white flour
  •    2 cups freshly ground hard white wheat flour
   1/4 cup milk

1. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix with the mixer just until flour is moist and the dough is just starting to come together. Use your fingers to finish pressing the dough together. 

2. Divide the dough into two portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a log, about 1 1/2" in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours. This dough can be made up to three days in advance, but if you would like to freeze the dough longer, wrap with additional plastic wrap and place a in a freezer bag. 

3. When ready to bake:  Let frozen logs sit out for 15 minutes. Use a sharp knife to slice dough into 1/4" slices. Place slices 1" apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until cookies are golden brown on the edges and set in the middle.

Let cookies cool completely. Time to fill them! 

Lemon Cream Filling

 In a bowl combine the following: 
   6 oz. cream cheese, softened
   2 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated
   2 tbsp. lemon juice powder
   2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
   2 tbsp. half & half

Use a hand mixer and mix on low speed until ingredients are combined. Then continue on high speed for 2 minutes, until the filling is fluffy. The filling should be thick, but if it is too stiff, add one more tablespoon of half & half.

Spread 1 1/2 tsp. of filling on the un-sugared side of the cookie, and top with another. Finished! Store cookies in the refrigerator for up to one week. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. 

Raspberry Honey Lemon Tea

The weather is warming, we are ready for cold teas again! Our family loves raspberry herbal tea, specifically the Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger that we used for this recipe. 

In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add 6 Raspberry Zinger tea bags and steep for 6-7 minutes. Remove tea bags and add: 
fresh lemon juice from one lemon, strained
1/2 cup 
1/2 cup honey

Chill in a glass pitcher until cold. You can serve this with fresh leaves in glasses, and ice cubes made from fruit juice or lemonade. Enjoy! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April - Embroidery Tutorial - Short/Long Stitch

You don't need to know a lot of fancy stitches to make a pretty flower. These pretty flowers are great embellishers! The tops do not touch the stems, and they look great in clusters of different colors.

We will make a simple flower using short/long stitches. The stitch this month is the short/long stitch but but will add a colonial knot and back stitches so you can complete the entire flower.

If it helps to draw these stitches first, do so! You want your flower to resemble something like this: I start with a short and end with a short.

1. Bring the needle up through the back and make a short stitch. Bring the needle up again, slightly higher and make a long stitch. All stitches are pointing down in the same direction, but I do not go back down the same hole. Completed top.

2. Let's add a Colonial knot to this. Bring the needle up where you would like it to be, right in the middle, but not touching the flower top. Put the needle under the thread, and wrap once, holding, and put the down through close to where you came up, still holding taut the wrap. Go slow while pulling through. If you make a knot on top, you aren't going to be getting it out. Done!

 3. Make as many of these in clusters as you need. Add stems. Use the back stitch to complete the stems. I draw my stems with a very thin micro pen. For a back stitch, come up 1/8" away from the end. Bring down behind it. Come up again 1/8" in front of the last stitch and bring down the needle down in the same hole. Keep stitches even. Add a few stitches (seed stitches) to resemble grass. Now how about adding the leaves we learned last month?

That's all there is to it! I can see these on little headbands, Capri bottoms, framed handkerchiefs...have fun! Theresa

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