The options are endless when it comes to a menu for a bridal shower tea party. It could be an English high tea, a small reception with just cookies, or even a full meal with tea on the side. Whichever one you choose depends primarily on how many guests you have, your budget, and (of course) the bride. A bridal shower is a great way to celebrate the bride-to-be! I’ve picked a few recipes that will be great for a tea party, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an expert in the kitchen.
A variety of cookies is always a welcome addition to a tea party menu. Most cookies served at tea parties aren’t aggressively sweet, but are crisp & buttery. Here’s the recipe for Tea Cakes (pictured above) from Epicurious.com:
2 ½ cups self-rising White Lily or cake flour
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Put flour in a bowl, and make a well in the center.
- Beat together butter and sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer until light & fluffy, and then beat in egg & vanilla until well-blended.
- Add butter mixture to flour, and rub together with your fingertips until dough forms into a ball. (Do not overwork dough)
- Halve dough, and work with one half at a time.
- Roll out dough ¼ inch thick on a floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin.
- Cut out cookies with a lightly floured cutter, and place one inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Re-roll dough scraps once, using as little flour as possible, and cut out cookies.
- Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven until pale golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
- Cool on baking sheet for one minute before carefully transferring cookies to a cooling rack.
Tea sandwiches, like cucumber pesto tea sandwiches from FunandFoodCafe.com (pictured above) are a great addition to a tea party menu. Tea sandwiches are incredibly versatile, and can be made with a wide variety of fillings – just use your imagination! Some of the more popular fillings are:
- Asparagus and herbs
- Egg salad
- Chicken & cranberry salad
- Smoked salmon
Scones are strongly associated with tea, and can be made in a wide variety of flavors. Here’s a recipe from AllRecipes.com for a classic scone with dried currants:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
½ cup dried currants or raisins
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and adjust your oven rack to the lower-middle position
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in currants
- In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
- Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball.
- Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar.
- Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart.
- Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.