Between Thanksgiving feasts, decking the halls, and deciding what to give or where to go over the holiday season, tea can provide a thoughtful and comforting refuge. What better way to ward off the stresses that are part and parcel of the season than to take time for tea?
Tea Brings People Together
The holiday season is a perfect time to get together with friends and loved ones and share good times, conversations, and warmth. Holiday tea parties become increasingly popular in private homes, hotels and communities around the world that they’re now an annual event. Children and adults alike are taking part in the excitement of tea during the most magical time of year!
For those who wish to take their tea closer to home, you and your family can create something truly memorable with just a little bit of pre-planning.
Entertaining for the Holidays
Traditionally, tea time is taken in the afternoon after the midday meal and before dinner. Of course, you can make your holiday tea time can be as casual or as formal as you like. The Yuletide season is the perfect time to use formal or holiday-themed china, teapots, cups, saucers, and all of the accessories that tea connoisseurs look for.
To create an inviting atmosphere, drape a table with a festive tablecloth with centerpieces and imaginative place settings that you or other family members have made. Add a tea tier, plates, or trays displaying a wide variety of confectionary treats to sample and share with your guests, and you will have a cozy holiday to remember.
Tempting Holiday Treats
Along with the traditional favorites like scones that we’ve shared with you here on our blog, here are some additional recipes to consider when creating your own goodies to be served for a holiday tea.
Mini Chicken Quiches
- 2 sticks of premade pie crust
- ¼ cup of chicken spread
- 3 wedges of gruyere cheese
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup of light cream
Prepare the pie crust according to the instructions on the package. Roll out the dough to thin if necessary. Use a round 2 ½ inch round biscuit cutter and cut 24 circles. Place the pie crust rounds into a greased muffin tin. Foil or silicone muffin cups can be placed into each muffin reservoir to ease their removal after baking.
Into each cup, place ½ teaspoon of chicken spread and a bit of the grated gruyere cheese into each cup. Beat the two eggs and then stir in the cream. Fill each cup with about 1 ½ teaspoons of the egg mixture. Place a bit more of the cheese on top if desired.
Bake in a 400-degree oven for 18 -20 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 -3 minutes before removing from pans. Makes 24 individual mini-quiches.
Salmon & Cucumber Canapes with Wasabi
When it comes to tea savories, there’s nothing quite like the smoky goodness of salmon paired with the freshness of cucumber and a bit of wasabi to add some zest. This particular finger food is likely to become a favorite your holiday guests will look forward to each year.
- 1 loaf of firm white sandwich bread
- 1 cucumber
- 12 pieces of thinly sliced, smoked salmon
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ⅛ teaspoon wasabi paste
- several sprigs of fresh dill
Cut approximately 12 portions from slices of the white bread with a biscuit cutter into similar sizes. These should be about 3 ½ inches by 1/12 inches each. Set aside.
Cut cucumber lengthwise into ¼-inch slices. Cut 12 shapes similar to those which were cut from the white bread. Place on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
Once dry, place a slice of cucumber on top of a slice of bread and set aside.
For this recipe, mix together mayonnaise and wasabi paste in a small bowl. More wasabi may be added to the mixture for a stronger taste. Place the mixture into a piping bag with a round tip. Roll the slices of smoked salmon into tube or cone shapes and fill each with the wasabi and mayonnaise mixture. You may want to add a bit of this on each of the cucumber and bread canapes to hold it all in place. Add a sprig or two of dill on top if desired. Serve immediately, or they can be made a little ahead of time and kept refrigerated until guests arrive.
Almond Butter Cookies
Although some of the most anticipated sweet treats of the year come during the holidays, this traditional cookie recipe can be adapted to be enjoyed year-round for tea or any time!
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
- 1 cup of butter or margarine
- 8 oz. package of cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon of almond extract
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 beaten egg white
Cream together sugar, butter, and cream cheese until fluffy. To this mixture, add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat until smooth. Combine the flour and baking powder and then stir into the creamed mixture of sugar, margarine and cream cheese. Divide into thirds then chill for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until firm.
Roll out section dough on a lightly floured surface to approximately 1 /8-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to make them into different shapes.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 375-degree oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack. You can serve these plain, or frost them with icing and add colored sugar or other types of sprinkles.
Holiday Caramel Fudge
What would the holiday season be without the taste of creamy fudge? Here is an easy recipe to make that adults and kids alike are sure to love.
- ¾ cup butter
- 2 cups of packed brown sugar
- ½ cup of evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
Melt butter in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Add brown sugar and cook over low heat for approximately 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add evaporated milk and continue stirring until the mixture reaches a boil. Remove from heat. Allow to cool until it reaches approximately 110 degrees.
Stir in vanilla, and add powdered sugar gradually, beating vigorously until it reaches a fudge consistency. Add walnuts if desired. Spread on to shallow 8x 8 pan with a depth of approximately 1 ½ to 2 inches. Chill for at least one hour. Cut into bite-sized squares and serve.
Give the Gift of Tea This Year!
Of course, these recipes are just a small sampling of what you can make for your holiday tea. When it comes to gift-giving, the gift of good health through tea is almost always appropriate. During the holiday season and to December 31st, 2019, Sir Jason Winters is offering 30% off of our Sage & Chaparral tea in the 5-ounce canister. Regularly priced at $29.95, now through the end of the month, it’s available for $19.95! You don’t need a coupon to take advantage of the savings, and there’s no limit. Stock up for yourself or get some as a stocking stuffer for people on your gift list
We are also offering our elegant Sir Jason Winters Special Edition tea chests starting at $59.95 and can be filled with all of your Sir Jason Winters tea favorites.
Give yourself and others the relaxing gift of good health. Be sure to check our online store where you can take advantage of all the savings of the season for all of our Sir Jason Winters products.
1 “Holiday Savories: 8 of Our Favorites.” by Administrative staff, TeaTime Magazine, 21 November 2019, https://www.teatimemagazine.com/holiday-savories-8-favorites
2 “Treasury of Christmas Crafts & Foods” edited by James A. Autry, 1980. Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA
3 “The Everything Healthy Tea Book: Discover the Healing Benefits of Tea” by Babbette Donaldson,2014, Adams Media, New York, NY
4 “Martha Stewart’s Christmas” by Martha Stewart, 1999, Clarkson & Potter, New York, NY