December 12, 2011

Winter Tea

Brew me a cup for a winter's night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I'll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair.
~Minna Thomas Antrim

A Maine House Mosaic

Is there a better time of year than Christmas? What better way to spread holiday cheer than to host a Christmas afternoon tea. The Christmas holiday season is a time to celebrate and renew friendships, show our appreciation for loved ones and those individuals who have enriched and shared in our lives.Twinkling lights, shimmering ornaments and the scent of pine needles and spiced tea will treat the senses. Holiday music creates an atmosphere of anticipation and brings back fond memories of other Christmases.

Hosting a Christmas tea party is the perfect party to capture the spirit of the holiday season. Most of us love to decorate for the holidays and a tea is a great excuse to pull out the special Christmas china, light the room with festive candles, and brew some hot spiced tea. Preparing for a Christmas tea requires little extra work as most of us decorate and bake in preparation for the holidays anyway.

Must have been the Rum

Estelle's Hot Mojito Tea
4 cup boiling water
8 tbsp. lightly packed rinsed fresh mint leaves
8 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar
Favorite loose leaf tea (English Breakfast, earl Grey, or other black tea)
1 c. rum (dark or light)
4 tbsp lime juice

Rinse a small teapot with hot water, then drain. Add mint leaves, brown sugar, tea and 1 c. boiling water. Cover and let steep for 2 minutes, add rum and lime juice. Pour mojito tea through a fine strainer into warmed heat proof martini or wine glasses. (Warm glasses by filling with hot water, then drain) Garnish each glass with a mint sprig and a lime slice. Makes 4 servings.

 Apricot Tarts
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 pkg. (3 ozs.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

In a mixing bowl, blend butter, cream cheese and flour. Chill for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the apricots and water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Drain. Add the pecans, sugar, marmalade, cinnamon and cloves; set aside. Shape dough into 24 balls. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. Spoon apricot mixture into the cups. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until browned. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to a wire rack to cool completely. For topping, combine cream cheese and butter in a small mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla until smooth. Beat in confectioners' sugar. Spoon a dollop onto each tart just before serving.

1/2 C soft butter
1 C flour
1/4 C sugar

Cream butter and sugar until creamy. Work in flour until smooth. Pat into 9" X 9" pan and bake at 350 degrees f. for 25 minutes (or until brown). Cool

2 eggs
1 C brown sugar (packed)
1/2 t almond extract
1C drained crushed pineapple
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/3 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup toasted coconut

Sift flour with baking powder and salt, set aside. Using a small bowl, beat eggs slightly. Gradually beat sugar into egg mixture. Blend in flour just until combined. Fold in almond extract, nuts and pineapple. Spread evenly over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes - Until firm to touch. Cool. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and powdered sugar. Cut into bars for serving!


  1. Mojito tea, I must try 11am too early for tea? As always, you've shared the most fabulous recipes! Your blog is keeping my Christmas 'mojo' at an all time high!
    Joycee on Granny Mountain

  2. LOL...sounds good to me Joycee! All of these are very, very good treats! Makes me happy you enjoy the blog!!


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