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Afternoon tea - trio of butter cookies

Just in time for afternoon tea, Kathreen Ricketson of Whipup.net is here to tell us about a traditional tea party, complete with a recipe and a giveaway of her Action Packs!

Did you know that Afternoon Tea was invented in 1840 in England by the Duchess of Bedford? She used to host lavish afternoon tea parties where she served tea with light refreshments. You can host your own tea party - here is how:

How to Host a Tea Party

1. Choose your type of tea. Why not try Moroccan Green Mint tea, or South African Rooibos tea served with milk and honey, or a traditional English Afternoon tea served with milk or lemon.
2. Decide on which tea pot and tea cups you will use - to match your decor!
3. Prepare the room with pretty linen and a flower arrangement.
4. Make some tasty snacks to go with the tea, small sandwiches, scones, pastries and cookies, and include a plate of fresh fruit such as strawberries and grapes.
5. Set the table with a sugar bowl, honey pot, milk jug, extra hot water, lemon slices and fresh sprigs of mint. You might also need a tea strainer.
6. To make a pot of tea, first warm the teapot with boiling water and tip this water out, then add 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea per person, then fill the teapot with boiling water. Place a tea cosy over the teapot to keep it warm while it brews for 1-3 minutes.
7. Ask a friend to pour the tea for everyone this is called ‘Doing the honours’ or sometimes ‘Will you be mother’.
Recipe for a trio of thumb print butter cookies:
These butter cookies are not only delicious and nutritious but fun and easy to make.

Recipe makes about 20
Bake in a medium oven for 10-15 minutes until golden

You will need:
1.5 cups of softened butter
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of wholegrain flour
2 cups of almond meal
1 teaspoon of ground cardamon (optional)
10 whole almonds, 1/4 cup of jam of your choice, 1/4 cup of nutella
How to make:
1. Cream the butter and sugar until lightened in colour.
2. Add the flour and almond meal and mix until it is all combined.
3. Optional - add a teaspoon of cardamon or cinnamon or grated lemon zest.
4. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls, place on your baking tray.
5. Press your thumb (or the end of a wooden spoon) into the centre of the balls to make an indentation.
6. Fill 1/3 of the cookies with a teaspoon of jam, 1/3 with a teaspoon
of nutella and press an almond into the remaining cookies.
7. Bake for 10 minutes on medium heat - remove from the oven just as they begin to turn golden in colour.
8. Serve with Afternoon tea.

Kathreen is a mother, writer, artist and blogger. She is founder and editor of Whipup.net and has recently launched Action Pack: Mini-Mag for kids who want to do stuff! The latest Action Pack is themed 'Tea & Sew'. This ‘Tea & Sew’ themed issue contains instructions & printables for a busy afternoon or two of tea drinking, cooking and sewing: lots of experimenting with flavours, sewing, dyeing and baking.
Find out more here: May Action Pack

Kathreen is generously offering the first three issues of her Action Pack to one lucky reader! To enter, leave a comment with your favorite kind of tea, as well as a way for us to contact you (this is important!). A winner will be chosen and announced on Saturday, May 28 at Noon CST.


  1. My favourite tea is genmaicha!

    nutnoh AT gmail DOT com

  2. My favorite tea is chamomile and mint! So good and comforting.


  3. A lovely cup of steaming English Breakfast Tea while I sit and watch the sun rise on my farm on a fresh May morning.


  4. Favourite tea is either very strong "builders brew" english tea or Lady Grey tea
    what a lovely giveaway :)

  5. My favorite tea is blueberry jasmine! But if I win you should give the wonderful mini mags to someone with kids :)


  6. Anonymous5:07 PM

    Please pray for Joplin, MO.

    Links on how you can help can be found here:

  7. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Thanks so much for this recipe!!!
    Love love love tea! My favorite at this moment is Green Earl Greyer (from The Republic of Tea). However runner ups are: African Nectar (a rooibos from Mighty Leaf) and Green Tropical, and of course good old southern sweet tea ;-).
    Didn't know about this kids e-mag.... thanks for the head-up!

  8. well how cute is this tea party!!! Thumb print cookies are my favorite!!! I am so excited I found your blog today! I would be honored if you would visit my blog and tell me what you think!

    Much love,


  9. i love earl grey tea with honey and lemon.

  10. Ooh I lurve my tea, favourites at the moment are lavender earl grey and rosehip and hibiscus aah.


  11. oh, i love assam tea. dark with milk and raw honey. you can reach me at mammaknits(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. OOOOooooh .... I would LOVE to win those action packs! :) My favorite kind of tea is actually barley tea ... especially chilled. My husband is Korean, and they drink it a lot ... I go to the Korean store just to buy barley tea some times. :) thesplitstitch (at) live (dot) com .

  13. I actually have not found a tea that I like (well, perhaps bubble tea). So no favorite flavors yet.

    This action pack looks like fun, would love to win!


    PS Thank you for the lovely post Kathreen!

  14. shobelle10:41 PM

    Hi Molly!

    Thanks for another aweome giveaway and pattern!

    My favorite teas are peppermint and Sleepytime.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

    shonijunk (at) yahoo (dot) com

  15. love the look of this magazine! my favorite tea right now is either black currant or earl grey. i love them equally. you can reach me on my blog which is linked to my name above.

  16. I like chai tea and fruity tea mixes as well. I also like to open the loose leaf tea containers and just enjoy the aroma for a moment, without even making tea :)


  17. My favorite is peppermint with a tiny bit of agave in it! Every time Im feeling down, it always perks me back up! :)


  18. Oh I am so enjoying all the tea related posts! Got here late but I am cathing up! Thanks!
    Favorite tea ??? Depends, but I love one I bought at my local tea shop (Valencia, Spain) called Winter evenings, ummm just lovely!

  19. Red Bush Tea. . . with milk. YUMMY

    rhubarbsky at gmail dot com

  20. I used to drink lots of Irish Breakfast tea, but I haven't been much of a tea drinker lately. I'm looking forward to tea parties with my daughter, though. I'm thinking she needs a proper tea set soon. ;)


  21. I vote for earl grey with lemon and honey as well! But peppermint is a close second:)

    Love the Action Pack idea! Cyndy

  22. Right now my favorite is a "English Breakfast" with some lemon and rock sugar.

    But I also love one sort of our local tea store it's called "Kiwi - Cherry", you can drink it hot or cold as an ice tea and don't need any sugar.

    I love tea!

  23. A local well in state tea called "An Evening in Missoula" I'm listing ingrediants because well...CHAMOMILE, ROSEHIPS, RASPBERRY LEAF,
    God I love this tea

  24. I'm always a sucker for Jasmine Tea. I just love the way it smells and relaxes my body instantly. But my new favorite thing to do is to mix my normal Earl Grey with the Jasmine tea. Then I add a bit of milk and natural sugar. It's so awesome. This is the only time I add anything to my Jasmine tea.

  25. My newest obsession is white tea!


  26. Love your tea party!!! Earl Grey hmmm warm and comforting!!!

  27. I love Earl Grey with cream and sugar. I need to host a tea soon, oh so very soon! You are an inspiration!