Hi, I'm Torrey. Welcome to Left Field, where creativity runs amok and imagination is ALWAYS more important than knowledge. Shoes are not allowed but ties are optional. This is a repository of snippets from my life out here in Left Field. One never knows what shiny bits of creativity will be found here... cards, scrapbook layouts, photography, poetry, recipes, ponderings, rantings and musings. It could be anything! Life in Left Field is always changing, always real, always ...interesting.

September 15, 2015

High Tea, Texas Style--Part 9...Baking Bonanza

Hidy Ho, crafty peeps!

As you can see, I took a break from my coverage of "THE" tea party. But, I'm back now with part 9...Baking Bonanza! This will wrap up all the yummy munchies we served at the Tea.

For those of you who are just joining me on this parade of Tea Party goodness, here are the links to all the previous entries so you can get all caught up!
Ok, now on with the final two contestants in the baking lolapalooza! I'll start things off with the scones we served...for a tea party just wouldn't be a tea party without scones. I am pretty sure there is a written rule in the tea party bylaws that states there must be some iteration of scones present in order to actually call a celebration a 'tea party'.

Lady Di Apricot Scones
I call these "Lady Di" scones for two reasons:

1) Because my mom wanted Apricot Scones...and her name is Dian--hence, Lady Di.
2) Because the base recipe is (reputed to be) the actual recipe for scones that was/is served to the Royal Family--in particular to the Lady Diana, Princess of Wales (and yes, that is her correct title--I looked it up). 

Apparently, she could only be called Princess Diana IF she had been born into the Royal Family. Since she got there by way of her marriage to Chuck...and then divorced him...she got stuck with the "lesser" title above. Had she stayed married to Prince C...she would have been known as HRH (Her Royal Highness) The Princess of Wales. In the divorce, she lost the HRH part. No biggie in my opinion...she got to keep the princess part which is the best part.

Anyway, there I go off on a tangent again. But you learned something, didn't you? My friend Becca was kind enough to supply me with this recipe. I did tweak the recipe a bit (I used cold butter instead of room temp, and I used apricots instead of raisins). Becca is an AMAZING cook. Here is a link to her blog...it's well worth more than just a glancing look!
Becca's Blog - From3906

  • 3 1/4 cups flour 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 4 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold, and cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 3/4 - 1 1/4 cups milk 
  • 1 cup raisins (optional) - OR ANY CHOPPED DRIED FRUIT(like apricots, cranberries, cherries, peaches, prunes, mangos, etc)
  • 1 beaten egg yolk for glazing
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 C)
  • Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in large bowl. Whisk until well blended.
  • Cut in the cold butter and mix until flour resembles bread crumbs. I use a pastry cutter...but you can use a fork.
  • Cut up dried fruit of choice into raisin-size pieces.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour/butter mixture and add the beaten egg and about 3/4 cup milk. If adding fruit, add it now.
  • Bring the mixture together with a wooden spoon, making sure you don't overmix (this will toughen the dough). If the mixture seems dry, add milk (1-2 Tablespoons at a time). You want a lightly bound, sticky dough.
  • Lightly dust a cutting board and your hands with flour and dump dough onto floured surface. Form into sort of a ball and press out to about 1 inch (or so) thick.
  • Using a 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter (I used my grandmother's), cut out about 18-24 scones--using leftover dough to form new scones until all dough is used.

  • Place scones on ungreased baking sheet (I used a silicon sheet) about 1 inch apart.
  • Brush tops of scones with the beaten egg yolk.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until scones are LIGHTLY colored. 
  • Serve immediately while hot, OR, transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
  • Store in airtight container at room temperature.

The final sweet treat is cupcakes. I decided early on that I wanted to incorporate some flavor/variety of tea into at least one of my offerings. I toyed with Earl Grey or Chamomile but ultimately landed on Chai. I love Chai. I drink it almost every day. Chai, for those of you not in the know, is sort of India's version of coffee. Traditional chai is served hot, frothy, and milky. It's HEAVILY flavored with green cardamom. The cardamom gives it a very floral fragrance. I prefer the "spiced" version (called Masala Chai) with lots of added cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and black pepper. I'm telling ya, it's a hug in a cup.

Speaking of cups...I found these absolutely ADORABLE silicone teacup baking cups online and HAD to get them for this party. H A D  T O. They are even translucent and look just like fine china. Aren't they C-U-T-E?? 

I decided to top these beauties off with an equally-decadent frosting. I couldn't decide between a buttercream and cream cheese frosting...so I thought "why not both?" and combined the two to make an uber-rich-and-delicious cream cheese buttercream frosting...with real vanilla bean. OMG. It was so good.

Spiced Chai Cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 to 1  teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, ground cloves
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, black pepper
  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix 
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
Cupcake Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175C).
  • In large bowl, mix cake mix and spices. If you like a LOT of spice, add 1 tsp of each of the spices and 2 TBS cinnamon. I added the larger amounts. Whisk until well blended.
  • Add eggs, oil, and water. Mix until well blended.
  • Pour into paper baking cup-lined muffin tin--filling each cup to 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from tin and cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (or Neufchatel) softened at room temperature
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter (I use salted butter) softened at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 vanilla bean split in half, seeds scraped out.
Frosting Directions:
  • Note: Use a stand mixer or hand mixer (which I used).
  • Mix together butter and cream cheese until well blended, fluffy, and without lumps.
  • Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix until incorporated.
  • Add vanilla and scraped vanilla seeds and mix until well blended. See the video below for how to scrape a vanilla bean!
  • Place frosting in ziplock bag. Snip off corner of bag and use it as a piping bag to pipe frosting onto cupcakes starting at outer edge and swirling in toward middle--this is MUCH easier than spreading on the frosting and it looks prettier!
  • Store cupcakes in airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week.     

    That's it for today! Stay tuned for the FINAL installment of the High Tea--Texas Style series...The Guests! 

    Thank you, as always, for venturing out to Left Field--where the grass is ALWAYS greener.



    1. Oh my gosh, I WANT ONE OF THOSE CUPCAKES. My sweet tooth has me salivating all over my keyboard right now. Must have one!!!!!!

      1. LOL...for Pavlov's dog it was a bell...for you, it's cupcakes. <3


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