Monday, July 16, 2012

Tea Party Treats

The Princess decided months ago that she wanted to host a tea party for her birthday. So we pulled out cookbooks and pored over them to find recipes that would be appropriate. She chose about twenty treats to serve! I asked her to pare it down to three or four, since we'd only be serving 5-6 guests.

We decided that cupcakes were easier to serve than cake, so my dear friend Suzanne made those for us. We found flower petal wrappers, which fit well with our theme.

Then came the hard part - the rest of the food! The Princess just could not decide! So I asked her to choose one type of finger sandwich. She wanted cucumber sandwiches because she read in a magazine that those were often served at teas. They are very simple and elegant, so I agreed.

Here's what you need:

1 English (seedless) cucumber
10 slices wheat bread
10 slices white bread
1 carton garden vegetable cream cheese

Wash the cucumber well. Then slice into three or four long pieces. Take a fork and scrape the sides of each piece firmly. Then cut into pretty little slices.

Remove the crusts from the bread. I used kitchen shears to do this. Using a rolling pin, flatten each piece of bread. With a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut 4 rounds of bread from each slice.

Spread twenty wheat rounds and twenty white rounds with the cream cheese. It's much easier to do this assembly line style than one sandwich at a time. Place one cucumber slice on each round. Put just a dab of cream cheese on the remaining bread rounds, then press each onto a cucumber slice. The little bit of cream cheese keeps the top of the sandwich from sliding around.

These sandwiches were a big hit with girls and parents alike! We didn't have any leftovers.

The Princess also wanted some kind of fruit to be served. So I prepared fruit tarts. These were so easy! The hardest part was dicing the fruit small enough to fit on the tart.

Here's what you'll need:

2 boxes of mini fillo shells (found in the freezer section) - you could make your own
1 box (3 oz) white chocolate pudding, prepared according to the package directions
2 or 3 different kinds of fruit, diced small - we used strawberries, peaches and kiwi

Place the fillo shells on a cookie sheet. Fill the shells with pudding. I used a teaspoon to do this. Mix the diced fruit together. Top the pudding with a teaspoon of the fruit mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For our last treat, we made pretzel butterflies. The Princess loved doing this one!

Here's what you need:

Mini pretzels - you'll need two for each butterfly
3/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
Two or three colors of candy melts
Sprinkles, coarse sugar or other decorations

On waxed paper, place two pretzels together with the two "humps" facing out. Put the melted chocolate into a ziploc baggie and snip off one corner. Pipe a line of chocolate to join the two pretzels. Repeat with the remaining pretzels until you have as many butterflies as you want. Refrigerate until set.

Melt the candy melts according to the package directions. Using the same ziploc baggie method, pipe the melted candy into the pretzel holes. Sprinkle with the desired decorations. Refrigerate until set.

The pretzel butterflies resting at the top of the treat tower.

All of the treats were tasty and fun! The Princess was so proud that she had helped make them for her friends. So, if you're planning a tea party, keep the treats simple. Let your daughter help as much as possible. The whole experience will be that much more special to her.

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