Jane Austen Birthday Party Menu, Plus How to Dip Cookies in Chocolate, and a Sugar Cookie Recipe

So as you know if you have been following my page, I just celebrated my 29th birthday with a Jane Austen Garden Tea Party.

Some of you might be wondering why I am so extensively going through all the party planning and it was because I had been planning to have this two years ago, but life got in the way so I decided to wait and now I’ve finally been able to have it.

Party time!

So far we have gone over invitations, decorations, prizes, activities to have, how to make your own piñata, etc. Before we go over the games I thought I would share the menu.

So starting with sandwiches, remember how we’ve been having those The Magician’s Nephew Bible study/book club/tea party? Well, those have also been a dry run for me as it gives me a chance to try out recipes and see which ones I really love. I decided to start off with one I really loved: Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches

I also really love cucumber sandwiches and wanted to use the recipe from Spend With Pennies but to save time I used Chive and Onion Cream Cheese Spread.

I know not everyone will be into them so I needed some regular sandwiches. I decided on Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches:

And I rounded it out with Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches:

Out of all of them, the Ham and Cheese did the best. They were all gone before the party’s end.

My mom made a salad for a side and then we went to the strawberry farm down the street and bought a ton of strawberries. Yep, I wanted it to be like Donwell Abbey.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any scones. I had wanted to make some, but I ran out of time. I had also planned to buy some, but when I went to the store they were all out.

But I had lots of desserts! I had made them a few weeks earlier and put them in the freezer until the day before the party. The first cookie I made was Crispy, Chewy, Matcha Green Tea Cookies.

People didn’t really like these as much as the other cookies, but I love them. They were eaten, just not as much as all the others.

The next cookie I made was Basic Shortbread:

But I used a cookie cutter to make them into teapot shape; along with cutting the other half of the cookies into a teabag shape. And I dipped them in chocolate

Chocolate Dipped Cookies:

  1. Have your cookies baked and cooled.
  2. Using a double broiler, melt a chocolate bar or chocolate chips.
  3. If you do not have a double broiler, get two pots about the same size or have one be slightly smaller than the other. Heat water in one until it boils. Turn down the flame and take the other pot and hold it over the one with boiled water. Place the chocolate in the top pot and stir until melted.
  4. When chocolate is melted, dip cookies and lay on wax paper. Put cookies in freezer or fridge to get chocolate to harden.

The last cookie I made was Better Home and Gardens Sugar Cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Cup of Shortening
  • 3/4 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 Teaspoons of Milk
  • 2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour (Sifted)
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions:

  1. Throughly cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Add egg; beat until mixture light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Blend dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  6. Divide dough in half.
  7. Chill for one hour.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 of an inch thickness.
  9. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  10. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees F for 6-8 minutes.
  11. Cool slightly, then remove from pan.

I had wanted to make Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake but I ran out of time and I ended up just buying an Almond Poppyseed cake from Raleys. It was good, but not as amazing as the Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake.

My friend also made Carrot Cake (my favorite) and carrot cake cupcakes. I didn’t take a picture of the cake (so good) but in the picture below, where the cupcakes are is where the cake was placed. All the cupcakes were gone by the end of the party. The recipe is a secret or else I would have shared that too.

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, and even though the party has ended I will be continuing to share all my other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Croquet

For more Jane Austen party ideas, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Paper Fan Making

For more desserts, go to Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

For more cookie recipes, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies

For more recipes, go to Savory Beef Hand Pies

The Magician’s Nephew: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). This week we had Cinnamon Bun Scones, Curry Egg Salad Triple Stack Sandwiches, Savory Beef Hand Pies, Cranberry Feta Pinwheels, and Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies.

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I though it would be able to post these faster, but I have really fallen behind and I’m trying hard to catch up though!

tea
And food to go with.

I had made something and I had all this buttermilk left over and nothing I could think of to do with it. So I started looking around online for a recipe. The only thing I could find that wasn’t too time consuming and I had all the ingredients for was Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen’s Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dark chocolate baking chips (or another cup of chocolate chips)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet. (I used foil).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  4. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.
  5. While the butter is still warm, add the cocoa powder to the butter and whisk until smooth.
  6. Then whisk in sugar, vanilla extract, and buttermilk.
  7. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain.
  8. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
  9. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving a few inches in between each cookie to allow for spread.
  10. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until cookies are set around the edges.
  11. Cool for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

These were delicious and I just know I’ll be making them again when I have leftover buttermilk; such as after I make my Irish Soda Bread.

teamansfieldpark

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Savory Beef Hand Pies

For more recipes, go to Cinnamon Bun Scones

For more cookie recipes, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies

For more desserts, go to Easy Fruit Tarts

For more tea posts, go to Brisket and Slaw Roulades

Jane Austen Birthday Party: Croquet

So as you know if you have been following my page, I just celebrated my 29th birthday with a Jane Austen Garden Tea Party.

Party time!

Some of you might be wondering why I am so extensively going through all the party planning and it was because I had been planning to have this two years ago, in my last year of being a Jane Austen heroine (Anne Elliot) but life got in the way so I decided to wait and now I’ve finally been able to have it.

So far we have gone over invitations, decorations, prizes, and how to make your own piñata, etc. Now I ended up having four games, but I know not everyone is interested in being a part of games-and I had four little girls who needed something to occupy themselves with. So I started thinking what else could I offer my party guests?

So the first thing I had planned was paper fan making. I thought the young girls would have a lot of fun making those, plus if the adults got overheated they could make one too.

But that would only occupy them for a short while. So I started thinking of something else to have…

Hmm…?

So one thing I really, really wanted to have at my party was croquet. I love croquet, but I wanted it not only because I like the game but because I wanted to be like Austenland.

Ah, if only I had JJ Feild: Mr. Tilney or Mr. Nobley. I’d settle for any of them.

I’m all about him!

So I started looking and I couldn’t find any croquet sets that weren’t costing an arm and a leg. I searched everywhere, every site I could think of and just gave up. I thought I would just have to find something else to do.

Sigh

But then in April, about two weeks before my party was planned, I went antiquing with some friends. I found some teacups, mugs, and other things in this amazing multilevel store. As I went to go outside to the shed, I spotted something sad, forlorn, dirty, and ignored.

I’m not sure how old it is, but it is certainly vintage. I got the set (minus the arches) for $30

This set needed a lot of work, someone had not been kind and left them out in the elements: they were dirty, full of cobwebs, the paint was peeling, etc. And of course after I purchased this set every site then had full new croquet sets for sale.

Oh well…

So I set to work taking care of it. I had to clean everything, then sanitize it, paint it, and in the end varnish it. I had a lot of help, which was good, as this was tiring.

From The Iron Giant

And I think it came out pretty great.

The official rules of croquet were published in the mid 1800s, but people had been playing long before that.

For those who don’t know, the game of croquet is a race of hitting balls on the lawn. Similar to golf, one must hit their ball but through an arch or hoop to score points, then tap the pole at the end to win.

  1. The role of play is on the wickets and the peg, you must play in the order of the colors.
  2. The first player gets one strike and whacks their ball in an effort to get it through the hoop.
  3. Each player gets one shot and they are played in turn (unless extra shots get earned).
  4. Running a hoop‘ (passing through the correct hoop) gains one extra shot. Hitting one of the other three balls (a roquet) gets you two extra shots as well.
  5. You can hit another ball (make a roquet) and earn two extra shots. In this case the first of those (the croquet stroke) must get played by placing it in contact with the roquet ball. To do that, you move your ball and place it anywhere in contact with the ball that got hit. The roqueted ball must move or shake with the next strike.
  6. Balls can get struck off the lawn. How I’ve always played is like golf, you hit where it lands. But official UK rules say that if a ball is knocked out of bounds, you may move it one meter inside the lawn.
  7. Players must hit each ball clean and without moving any other balls, hoops, or pegs. The best croquet strategy is to strike the balls with the face of the mallet to make a clean shot. (Or as seen in the Austenland video, hold you ball with your foot, and smack it into another to move them out of the way.)
  8. The ball gets removed from play once it hits the peg at the end of the course.
  9. You score one point for getting the ball through each hoop. You get an extra point for hitting the peg. First person or team to do so, wins!

We played with it, the young girls did as well, and we all had a great time.

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, and even though the party has ended I will be continuing to share all my other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Paper Fan Making

For more Jane Austen party ideas, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Decorations

For more Jane Austen games, go to Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride and Prejudice Card Game

The Magician’s Nephew: Savory Meat Hand Pies

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). This week we had Cinnamon Bun Scones, Curry Egg Salad Triple Stack Sandwiches, Savory Beef Hand Pies, Cranberry Feta Pinwheels, and Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies.

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I though it would be able to post these faster, but I have really fallen behind. I’m trying to catch up though!

tea

So my friend had made some meat pies a few weeks earlier and they were amazing! I begged and begged her for the recipe but she couldn’t give it to me as she didn’t really have a recipe. She just kind of throws things together.

So I instead went searching online and found a site called Longbourn Farm, and I was like “Longbourn”? Do you mean this Longbourn?

Pride and Prejudice’s Longbourn?

So of course I went with it. I ended up using my pie crust recipe from my apple pie recipe.

teatimealiceinwonderland

Ingredients: Pie Crust

  • 2 Cups of All-Purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup of Shortening
  • Ice Water

Filling:

  • 1.5 lbs of Ground Beef
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Onion
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Thyme
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Cup of Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon of Water

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix up the shortening and flour. Add in water, a tablespoon at a time until dough is more malleable. If you add too much and it is too liquid-y, then just add a bit more flour to firm it up.
  2. Put dough aside.
  3. In a medium frying pan on medium heat, add ground beef and spices.
  4. When ground beef is brown, about 8 mins, add onion.
  5. Cook until the Ground Beef is completely cooked through and the onoions are translucent.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  7. Roll out pie dough and cut circles out of the pie crust, they should be about 4-6 inches in diameter. You can use a large cookie cutter or biscuit cutter or just trace a drinking glass if you don’t have a cutter.
  8. Divide the Ground Beef and cheese up evenly between the circles.
  9. Fold the circles in half and press the edges together gently. Crimp them firmly with a fork.
  10. Whisk the egg and water together.
  11. Brush the egg-water mixture onto each beef hand pie.
  12. Place the beef hand pies on a lined or greased sheet tray.
  13. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

So these weren’t as good as my friend’s hand pies, but they were extremely delicious.

I did run out of pie dough though, and ended up having to buy more (I just bought the premade frozen ones).

teamansfieldpark

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Cinnamon Bun Scones

For more recipes, go to Easy Fruit Tarts

For more pie recipes, go to Mini Apple Pies

For more tea posts, go to Brisket and Slaw Roulades

Jane Austen Birthday Party: Paper Fan Making

So as I have been saying in every post, I have been planning my Jane Austen 29th birthday party for a few years, and when the lockdowns happened last year I began to grow worried that I wouldn’t be able to have it. But luckily we moved down a tier, I had it, and we all had such a wonderful time.

Party time!

So in my previous posts I went over the invitations, the prizes, and the decorations. The next step in my party planning was activities. I had planned for three games, but I also had four little girls coming and needed something to occupy them; along with those who didn’t like playing games. I had thought about doing a tea blending, but the weather was supposed to be warm with wind. I looked about on Pinterest for ideas, and found fan making on the PennyWise blog.

Hmm…?

I love fans! They are so pretty and useful and I thought it would be perfect for the girls to make with their moms, or for any party guest to make if it grew too hot. With my party being the first of May, weather in California can either be extremely hot, medium hot, cool, or occasionally cold. I figured fan making would be something fun all can do to add to an outfit or a useful tool in the sun.

Austenland (2013)

So I didn’t follow exactly what they did in the PennyWise blog as I didn’t want to pre-make anything, and I also didn’t want to worry about having to supervise glue gun usage. So I took her idea and made a few changes.

Supplies:

  • Colorful Paper (Scrapbook Paper works best)
  • Stickers
  • Clothespins
  • Colorful Tape/Craft Tape
  • Stapler (Optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add stickers to scrapbook of desired.
  2. Fold the paper back and forth, making accordion folds.
  3. Staple the bottom part together and then pin by the clothespins or just pin the ends together with the clothespins.
  4. Cover the clothespin with the Craft tape.
  5. Add ribbon or other notions if desired.

Here is my example:

I then left everything out on a table so people could choose what they want and do it how they like.

This was a lot of fun. Only one child made one, as the rest had my friend make them for her. Then when it grew really warm, a few other of my friends decided to make some as well. My one friend is super artistic and made an extremely beautiful one. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture but she is fantastic at everything she sets her hands to.

This wasn’t too expensive, the thing that cost the most was the Scrapbook paper. I wanted a pack of paper that looked more vintage, to go with the Regency style of everything. They had cheaper ones, but not the style I wanted and I went with the more expensive one at Hobby Lobby (80 sheets for $19.99). The clothespins were $2 a pack. I bought three different types of craft type: two came in a pack of 2 for $1 and the other a pack of 3 tapes for $1. The stickers I already owned.

As only a few made fans I had a lot of paper left over. You know how much I enjoy making my own cards, so I used them to make thank you cards and have lots to choose from for any future ones I design.

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, and even though the party has ended I will be continuing to share all my other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Prize One

For more Jane Austen party ideas, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Decorations

For more Jane Austen crafts, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Teapot Piñata

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to Northanger Abbey Audiobook Narrated by Anna Massey