Don’t ask me how I came across this video. I think it was while on a search for tea party china, or serving dishes. Kind of a random find, but I am glad I took two minutes out to watch it because I enjoyed the artistic reminder that we all need to make time in our busy lives to take tea.
This month, in honor of the recent conclusion of the Olympic games, our 5 Star Makeover group is making time for tea in a virtual English tea party. Keeping tradition in mind, our instructions were to create savory and/or sweet little bites to accompany the tea. Assorted finger sandwiches, scones, Devonshire cream, jams, and tea breads are familiar treats served during this pre-dinner (typically between 3-5pm) snack.
Cucumber sandwiches are the first things that popped into my mind (and stayed there ) when I got started on this tea post, so that’s what I stayed with. I have changed them up a bit straying from tradition and swapping the crustless white bread for savory Stilton biscuits. The biscuits are something I really love all on their own. The dough is super easy to make in the food processor. The slice and bake “logs” my be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week before baking, or in the freezer for one month. If you haven’t already thought about this, they are really perfect with a glass of wine. Cheese and cracker all in one bite!
I have filled the biscuits with my version of a Benedictine spread (popular in the south), which is a cucumber/onion infused cream cheese. A slice of English cucumber adds a little bit of extra crunch. Simple and not too fussy; pretty much what we are looking for in an afternoon tea snack. I hope you will take tea with us all of us on Friday and enjoy the treats.
3/4 pound Stilton cheese
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a baking sheet.
Place cheese and melted butter in bowl of food processor and pulse until well blended. Add the poppy seeds and flour and process until the ball of dough forms.
Shape the dough into two logs, each about 10-inches long. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Slice the dough into rounds about one-quarter inch thick. Place the rounds on the baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Cool the biscuits on a rack before serving.
Makes 50 biscuits
1 large cucumber
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
Peel cucumber and grate over a cheese cloth, catching cucumber liquid into a small bowl. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cucumber liquid; discarding remaining liquid and cucumber pulp. Combine with remaining ingredients in food processor.
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
Spoon 1/2 teaspoon Benedictine Spread on the bottom side of 1 Stilton Biscuit. Place 1-2 slices of English cucumber on spread and top with a second biscuit (bottom side down). Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Makes 25 Sandwiches