Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tea treats from South of the Border

Close on the heels of the world's preoccupation with Britain following the royal wedding, comes one of the most festive of holidays, Mexico's Cinco de Mayo.  The following are some facil tea-inspired ideas to keep your taste buds dancing like Mexican jumping beans:

The first is Mexican Tea Cakes (as seen on BusyCooks at

These traditional cookies are found in nearly every ethnic celebration. They are also known as sand cookies, butternut cookies, and wedding cakes. Try forming some of the dough around unwrapped chocolate kisses, maraschino cherries, or nuts to form a surprise center. One of my favorite things about these cookies is that the first coating of powdered sugar melts to form a thin icing, which is sealed in by the next coating. So make sure to coat them twice!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 23 minutes


  • 1 cup butter, softened (NO substitutes)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped, if desired
  • powdered sugar


Cream butter with sugar until well blended. Beat in vanilla, then add flour and salt. Mix well. Add nuts, if using. Chill several hours in refrigerator. Form 1" balls and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Cookies should not brown, but be light golden on bottom.
Immediately drop into powdered sugar, roll, and place on rack to cool. When the cookies are cool, roll again in powdered sugar to coat.
Mexican Tea Punch

2 c Tequila
2 c Tea; strong, cold
1 c Pinapple juice
1/4 c Honey
1/4 c Water
1/4 c Lime juice
1/4 c Lemon juice
1 1/2 ts Cinnamon; ground
1 1/2 ts Aromatic bitters

Mix all ingredients; refrigerate until chilled. Stir before serving. Serve over ice.

Serves: 8 (from

And one of my perennial faves:

Cinnamon Toasted Tortilla Chips

1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 flour tortillas
3 Tbsp melted butter

In a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.  Brush tortillas with melted butter.  Then sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of sugar mixture.  Cut tortillas into 8 triangles each. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place tortillas on ungreased baking sheet, with sugar side up.  Bake 10 minutes until crispy.