Tea Party Food: Crowd-Pleasing Chocolate Chip Cookies and Easy Mini-Crescent Scones

Last week, I had four other mamas, with child(ren) in tow, over to my house as part of a “shrinking coffee party” fundraiser for our local hospital. It was a really nice time: the preschoolers (all boys) got along famously, the babies were adorable, and we mamas never lacked for conversational topics.

I don’t host parties often, so when I do, I get grandiose ideas about what kinds of refreshments to make. As a former Pampered Chef consultant, I am well-versed in the ways of mini-quiches and decorative trifles, but those are a little out of my league at this juncture, with the number of interruptions guaranteed to punctuate any project I start.

I managed cookies and scones.

cookies and scones
They look much fancier on a tiered tray, n’est-ce pas?

We also had veggies, crackers, and cheese… The hummus was store-bought and I resigned myself to skipping the deviled eggs… but someday I’ll have a tea party with those items too!

Here is my recipe for Crowd-Pleasing Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted from Anna Olson’s recipe on the Food Network.


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup soft whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
  3. Add flour, and sift in cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in with chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Make sure you don’t overbake!

Yield: about 40 cookies.

The secret ingredient is the cornstarch, which makes the cookies wonderfully chewy. I use a 1T cookie scoop, because it makes cute, uniform little cookies. I bake on seasoned clay bakeware (a.k.a. stoneware, from Pampered Chef) so there’s no need to grease the trays.

I also used real vanilla extract, which I made thus:

  1. Order vanilla beans from these people, with plenty of time to make vanilla for Christmas (in a rare flash of holiday forethought).
  2. Spend a few weeks not receiving them, with several fruitless attempts to contact the company by email and by phone.
  3. Eventually receive an email from the company saying you should have received notification weeks ago that your beans are not in stock, try back in March.
  4. Order vanilla beans from these people, and receive them within a few days.
  5. Get yourself some hard liquor. Not just to loosen up, although feel free. (The recipes I found used vodka, but I thought rum would be yummier.)
  6. Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise.
  7. Put one vanilla bean per cup of liquid into the rum/vodka/whatever, in a tightly-closed container.
  8. Wait at least six weeks, shaking the container whenever you think of it (once a week or so).
  9. Use delicious Rumnilla in all your baking!!
homemade vanilla extract
Vanilla: the essence of homey awesomeness.

I also made Easy Mini-Crescent Scones, adapted from this recipe at Allrecipes.com


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 generous splash rumnilla


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal).
  4. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream, milk, egg, and rumnilla until smooth.
  5. Stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to work the dough into a ball. (The dough will be somewhat sticky.)
  6. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick.
  7. Use a shot glass to cut the dough into crescent shapes. (I was just going to make small circles, then I realized that if you do crescents, you have a spot to hook your thumb in and release the scone from the glass. Then voila, it’s cute! Though some will probably end up looking like alien heads or cow plops.)
    Hands up if you can tell I am NOT A FOODTOGRAPHER.

    Actually the one on the right is more zygote-shaped.
  8. Place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper) or stoneware pan, about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, 15 to 17 minutes.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature, with butter and/or jam. Or, just eat ’em straight off the tray.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

So there you have it! Tea party: CHECK. Try it yourself!

Oh, and you might wanna make some tea.



8 thoughts on “Tea Party Food: Crowd-Pleasing Chocolate Chip Cookies and Easy Mini-Crescent Scones

  1. emerge says:

    i wish you had a Like button here.

    DELICIOUS post. 🙂

    and yay for the photo-y goondess. goonedess. goodnnesdsess.

  2. Mama says:

    Sorry, Di! I completely forgot about the tea party. Things have been a little, um, demanding around here. I’m glad it went well and you all had a scrumptious time. Emerge – I think she’s a pretty good photographer, but I wouldn’t call her a goondess, just maybe more like a nymph or a muse..

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      That’s okay! There was no obligation.

      Goondess seems to be a term with at least some dignity to it, as well as silliness. Probably perfect.

  3. Leslie says:

    I just made some chocolate chip cookies last night, and the recipe called for a box of instant vanilla pudding. It was a first for me, but am very happy with the results.
    I think I should put a three tier tray on my birthday gift list, it would truly improve the look of my tea parties.
    Thank you for the tips on making vanilla extract. As soon as I read rum, I was interested:)
    I was just talking with my mom about getting a toy tea set for S, but decided it may be a little too soon. But the sets are so cute.

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Ooh! Sounds yummy. And you should know, I was totally inspired by you, when it came to the scones. Those ones you made were so delicious.

      A friend of ours just gave us a hand-me-down Cinderella tea set for A, but of course E is all over it. It’s not tiny, it’s one you could actually eat from if you were a little person. Pretty cool.

  4. Lindsay says:

    So glad you posted the recipe for the scones! love it! now, to find someone to teach me to make jam and I”ll be all kinds of set!

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