Thyme for Tea

Afternoon Sweet Tea Recipes


A Sweet Tea is traditionally made up of treats such as cookies, tiny muffins, scones, tea biscuits. Visitors to China's and Ruby's tearoom enjoy a variety of sweet treats, accompanied by a selection of light, sweet, fragrant teas.

Lemon Biscotti

Ginger Honey Muffins

Lavender Ice Cream

Lavender Shortbread

Rosemary Tea Biscuits

China's Tea Scones

Teas to accompany a Sweet Tea might be blended, flavored, or scented teas:

Almond tea (decadent almond aroma and taste)

Cinnamon Orange Spice tea (black tea with spices and orange peel bits)

Jasmine (delicate, sweet flavor)

Rose tea (black tea scented with rose petals, sweet and flowery tasting)

Lemon Biscotti

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 4 cups sifted flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • grated zest of 1 lemon

Cream sugar and butter, beat in lemon juice and sour cream. Sift flour with soda, add to butter mixture. Add rind and nuts, mix well. Form into 2-inch diameter rolls. Chill until firm. Bake rols at 350° until lightly browned. While warm, cut on the bias into ½" slices. Lay carefully on cookie sheet and dry at lowest oven setting until golden, about 10 minutes. (Watch carefully)

Ginger Honey Muffins

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1¾ cup flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Beat the butter, honey, water, egg, and almond extract together. Combine dry ingredients. Add butter mixture gradually to the dry ingredients, mix lightly. Fill the cups of a miniature muffin tin 2/3 full. Bake at 325 degree oven for about 20-22 minutes.

Lavender Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2/3 cup honey (mild flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons dried edible (unsprayed) lavender flowers
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For this recipe, you'll need a fine sieve, a candy thermometer, and an ice cream maker.

Bring cream, half-and-half, honey, and lavender just to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove pan from heat. Let steep, covered, 30 minutes.

Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard lavender. Pour into saucepan and heat over moderate heat until hot.

Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Gradually add 1 cup hot cream, whisking. Pour into remaining hot cream mixture in saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until the temperature registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, about 5 minutes (do not let boil).

Pour custard through sieve into cleaned bowl and cool completely, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker, following manufacturer.s directions. The texture will be thick and custardy. To harden, place in an airtight container and freeze.

Lavender Shortbread

  • ¼ cup confectioners sugar
  • 9 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1½ cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons lavender blossoms
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Cream confectioners sugar and butter. Add flour and lavender. Knead until soft, then roll out to 3/8" thick. Cut in squares. Bake at 350° until light golden (watch to be sure they don't burn). Sprinkle tops with sugar.

Rosemary Tea Biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold shortening
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried, minced

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening until it forms pea-sized bits. Gently stir in remaining ingredients. Turn out onto floured board and knead 10-12 times. Pat into ½" thick circle. Cut out 2" rounds. Bake in 375° oven for 12-14 minutes. Serve warm with honey or jam.

China's Tea Scones

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 2/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1¼ cups milk

Cut butter into flour until mixture is crumbly. Add sugar, baking powder, and raisins, mixing well. Gradually add milk. Turn out the soft dough onto a floured surface and knead 8-10 times. Roll out 1 1/2" thick. Cut 2" rounds. Place on non-stick baking sheet. Brush tops with milk and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool scones on rack. Serve with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Clotted Cream

If you can't purchase clotted cream in your grocery store, you can make this acceptable substitute:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • half-pint whipping cream

Beat butter until creamy (easy with your electric mixer). In another bowl, with clean beaters, whip cream until dry, firm peaks form. Gradually add the whipped cream to the butter, mixing gently with a whisk until it is combined. Refrigerate until ready to use, or freeze (for up to 3 weeks).