Friday, April 5, 2013

The Earl of Chocolate gets Sconed!

It's time to swap again. I love swapping. It's something you often do with friends and around the Holidays there are a lot of cookie parties; however I had not figured out how to get a group together and swap with strangers. Fortunately, we found SF Swappers and now I don't have to organize anything at all! I just show up with my goodies and trade. Stephanie and Aimee are the co-organizers and the swap was their 2-year anniversary, so congrats ladies! J.K., Mel and I attended our first swap last year, so we haven't been involved from the get-go (more's the pity) but we've become regulars. Every swap brings new inspirations, ideas to steal, food to take home and appreciate, even the potluck prior to the actual swapping can give a person foodie ideas. I won't share all the items I took home in this post. However, if you want an awesome scone recipe and more information about Tipsy Tea, this is the spot to get it!

Packs of Two to swap. Tea+Sugar.
Earl Grey Tea, dried orange peel, cacao shells, chocolate chips

The scones are ready to swap!
Mel and I brought Tipsy Tea product to swap including Triple XXX Peppermint Tea paired with Vanilla Sugar, The Earl of Chocolate Tea paired with either Hibiscus Sugar Or Chocolate Sugar. We brought a Tipsy Tea cocktail to share at the potluck featuring the Peppermint Tea and Vanilla Sugar (with vodka!) and it was a hit. I also made The Earl of Chocolate Scones by adapting a recipe I had used for the Tipsy Tea Party. They turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. If you're wondering why the scones aren't round, well, it's because they're from a teapot shaped cookie cutter! I used a "tea tag" cookie cutter as well. Both were given to me by J.K., who got them at last year's Cookie Cutter Collectors Club convention. The theme of the convention was Garden Tea Party, and all the convention cutters reflected that theme. These ladies can be pretty fanatical about their finds, and they are really inspired by their hobby. If you like cookies, this is the club for you. I wonder if I could get some of the Cookie Cutter Collectors to come to the swap? Although J.K. might want to keep her hobbies separate. I'll have to ask her....

J.K. brought Hamantaschen to swap, which will appear in our next Cook The Book Post, and Peanut Butter Middle cookies for the potluck. Check out the tea scone recipe below, I adapted it from a cookbook I've had for a long time (I got it from a second hand store or maybe a Library book sale? I forget.), The Great Big Cookie Book.

Ingredients and tools.

My two cutters, tea tag (bottom) and teapot
All my dry ingredients.

Tea inside the cookies shaped like teapots, I'm feeling very Martha right now.
"Tea Tag" shapes as well as teapots.

A new twist on an old favorite!
Tea Scone Recipe
makes 12-16 depending on size

2c. flour (I used whole wheat, but whatever you prefer is fine--even gluten free flour)
1/4t salt (I like to use a flavored salt, in this case Vanilla Salt)
1/2t baking soda
1t cream of tartar (I now have enough cream of tartar to choke a horse, had to buy it from Smart and Final)
2T butter
1T tea your choice (use a spice grinder to make a consistent size, unless you like leaves showing)
1/2c chocolate chips
3/4c buttermilk (add vinegar to sour your 'regular' milk)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Stir together dry ingredients including the tea. (Make sure your baking soda has not expired!)
Rub in your butter, cold butter makes a better crumb.
Add enough milk to make all the ingredients wet, but Not sticky. Start with 2/3 cup and add more if needed. The tea tends to soak up a bit of the moisture, so play it by ear.
Knead it in a bowl until mostly incorporated then knead on a flat surface until all dry ingredients are gone.
Roll out to 1" thick (use paddywacks if you're JK) and choose your cutter. Remember that if you use a drinking glass that scones may stick inside due to suction. Make sure to rim the glass with flour if choose to use it, as that should reduce sticking.
Place scones on the baking sheet and brush the tops with leftover milk.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. (maybe a tan)
These depending on the size of your cutter these scones may take a minute longer to bake.

Grab some Double Devon Cream and your favorite jam or jelly---Chow Down!