I had decided that I had posted enough recipes for sweets for a while.
Then I found out that January is Hot Tea Month.
Why January? Who knows? I tried to figure out who decided that January is Hot Tea Month, and I couldn’t find anything. But it doesn’t really matter. For me, every month is hot tea month.
Of course, I live in the Pacific Northwest, where our weather is cool and damp most of the year. Cool, damp weather is perfect for a cup of hot tea.
When the weather is hot and dry (it does get that way here occasionally in the late summer), I’d rather have a glass of sweet iced tea. But not first thing in the morning. First thing in the morning, I always want a cup of hot tea.
And cherry tea bars are just the thing to go with it.
Cherry Tea Bars
3 cups dried tart cherries
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups strong black tea
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray, then line the pan with parchment paper.
Mix all of the crust ingredients except the coconut in a food processor. Process until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse corn meal.
Measure out 1 1/4 cups of the mixture into a small bowl, stir in the coconut, and set it aside. You’ll use this mixture for the topping.
Press the remaining crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake the crust for 15 minutes, then remove it from the oven.
While the crust is baking, mix the filling ingredients in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so, until the cherries are soft and the mixture is thick.
Spread the warm crust with the filling. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.
Return the pan to the oven, and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Cut into squares after they’ve cooled completely.
Recipes for Pascha and St. Nicholas Day: Pascha and St. Nicholas Day both call for loads of yummy home-made treats.
Easy, elegant crescent cookies: You can whip up a bath of these delicious cookies in minutes. The secret? Store-bought refrigerated pie crusts.
Buy the Books!
These delightfully diverse books provide disability representation (Elizabeth, one of the main characters, is an ambulatory wheelchair user). They also give Orthodox Christian children the rare opportunity to see themselves in books, and children who are not Orthodox the chance to see cultural practices they may not be familiar with.
FINALIST IN THE 2015 USA BEST BOOK AWARDS
Catherine doesn’t like vegetables. She doesn’t like naps. She doesn’t like it when her mom combs her hair. She loves hot dogs, chocolate cake, and her best friend, Elizabeth. Most of all, she loves Pascha! Pascha, the Orthodox Christian Easter, is celebrated in the middle of the night, with processions and candles and bells and singing. And Catherine insists that she’s not a bit sleepy.
The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
Shoes or stockings? Horse or sleigh? Does St. Nicholas visit on December 6 or on Christmas Eve? Will a little girl’s prayer be answered? When Elizabeth has to stay at Catherine’s house, she’s worried about her grandmother, and worried that St. Nicholas won’t find her. The grownups, though, are worried about snow.