Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tea Time

This year I decided to host a Christmas Tea for a few of my friends. I thought it would be a good opportunity for a visit before the rush of the Christmas season set in.

I made up my guest list, sent out an invitation and then did lots of baking and decorating and crafting - and I loved every minute of it! There is something to be said about preparing for a special visit with your friends. All the little details. Wanting everything to be warm and inviting as you open your home and heart to each guest.

I was excited to use the china tea set, Royal Albert Old Country Roses, that I inherited from my mother-in-law. I love any excuse to bring it out of the china cabinet and serve tea with it.

My baking included two of my all-time favorite recipes plus four new ones. I know it is always a bit risky to try something new when you are having company, but they all turned out to be amazing recipes!

First up was my Orange Cranberry Nut Loaf. I love it and I make it every Christmas!

Another Christmas favorite in our family are Cadbury Cookies! Fudgy, chewy, caramely delicious!

I then tried a new Sugar Cookie recipe that one of my scrapbook friends, Sharon, recently shared with us. Delicious! This recipe has definitely replaced my old sugar cookie recipe!

Then I made these incredible Lemon Dreams! Oh my! Can you say lemon heaven?

The next new recipe I tried was Ricotta Cookies. Yes - they actually have ricotta cheese in them! They are soft and not too sweet and with the Cream Cheese Icing they were divine!

Last up was this amazing Cranberry Almond Streusel Cake. I found the recipe on the internet and the ingredient list just sounded too good to pass up. Fresh cranberries. Sour cream. Streusel topping. The finished cake did not disappoint in the least! I can assure you I will be making this again!

So are you hungry yet? I will share the Cranberry Almond Streusel Cake recipe in this post and then I will post each of the other recipes in the next few days so you can try them for yourself. They are all keepers :)

Thank you my friends for stopping by for tea. It was wonderful to see you and to be able to spend some time visiting. May you each have a very merry and blessed Christmas.

Cranberry Almond Streusel Cake

2-1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/2 cups sour cream
2 cups fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups plain flour
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together flour and baking powder. Butter a 9-inch square or round baking pan. (I used a 9-1/2 inch spring form pan.)

Cream butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, stir well. Add vanilla extract, almond extract, sour cream and the flour mixture. Beat until combined.

In a small bowl, toss the cranberries with sugar. Fold them into the batter; spoon into cake pan.

For topping: In a small bowl, work together sugar, flour and butter until crumbly; sprinkle on top of cake. (It will seem like a lot of topping, but add it all.)

Bake until golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes. When cool, remove cake from pan and place on cake plate. Dust with icing sugar before serving.



  1. Thanks for having me at your Tea Party. I had the Cranberry Almond Streusel Cake and the Orange Cranberry Nut Loaf. Excellent. I will try both. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. It was amazing... all of it! Thank you so much for the invite. :)

  3. Thanks so much for the tea party ... I love gatherings like this. Getting to know your friends and neighbours and getting to share some more time with you was a treat too! Have a wonderful Christmas :)

  4. A Tea Party, what a great idea! Looks like you had lots of delicious treats! I bet they were very yummy!!

  5. Looks like a wonderful time. I have OCR too and so rarely pull it out. I will try to use it this week Joanne! Merry Christmas to you and yours.


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