This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TeaProudly #CollectiveBias
If you’ve ever traveled down to the Southern states, you probably learned very quickly that we take our tea very seriously. It’s impossible to walk into a restaurant without seeing sweet iced tea on the menu somewhere. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to just assume that that’s what you want to drink! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a restaurant and was handed a tall glass of sweet tea before I was ever asked what I wanted to drink. For real, y’all!
There’s no doubt that we love our tea. Honestly, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if our bloodstreams had sweet tea running right through them! If you ask most of the locals around here, they just might argue that the sweeter the tea, the better. But that’s where I take a little bit of a turn from the rest of the pack.
As much as I love to sip on sweet tea, I truthfully like to mix things up a bit. I love to keep new and exciting tea varieties in my pantry to indulge in throughout the week. Plus, I like to offer guests that come into my home something different besides just assuming they want sweetened tea.
I’ve always known it to be common courtesy to offer guests in your home a cup of tea, and that’s exactly why I like to keep a selection of Bigelow Tea in my pantry. Whenever I’m perusing the tea aisle at the grocery store, Bigelow is always the brand that I reach for first. It’s like that old, trusty friend that always has a way of speaking right to your soul. The quality and flavor that come out of each packet gives me life every time I take a sip!
While most people around here like their tea cold, I love to take it hot from time to time. Did you know that January is “Hot Tea Month?” I just love finding out little tidbits of fun information like that. It always inspires me to celebrate! While fixing myself a glass of tea earlier in the week, I caught myself daydreaming of vacationing in the French countryside, sipping on tea at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and munching on little tea cakes. (A girl can dream, right?) I’ve heard before that many other cultures set apart a specific time during their day to sit, unwind and drink a cup of tea, which I think it totally cool!
So after I woke up from my daydream and realized that I was NOT sipping on tea and munching on little cakes in the French country side (such a bummer,) I decided to do something that would, at the very least, make me feel like I was! Since it’s common practice to serve a cake or biscuit of some kind with tea, I figured that’d be a great place to start. Not long ago I purchased a special pan made specifically for baking madeline cakes, and I knew right away that would be just the thing to have with my favorite Bigelow Tea variety – Green Tea.
I swung by my local Walmart to pick up and extra box of Bigelow Tea and a few other essentials to make my madeline cakes. I really love that my Walmart carries several different varieties of Bigelow Tea. Next time you’re out shopping there, swing by the tea aisle and pick up a box! I’d love to hear which variety is your favorite! 😉
Once I got home, I decided I had better start baking so I could enjoy my tea and madelines while my toddler took her afternoon nap. I lightly greased the baking pan and sprinkled just a tiny bit of flour over the pan to help prevent the cakes from sticking. If you’re not familiar with madelines, they’re small, lightly sweetened sponge cakes that are most commonly served with tea that originated in the northeastern region of France. They have a shell-like shape to them, and most people like them best with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
I had some fresh apples sitting in my window that needed to be used, so I decided that a honey apple madeline would be perfect. I whipped up the batter and had a plate full of warm, delicious madeline tea cakes in no time!
Since tea cakes are often referred to as biscuits in France, I just had to break out my favorite tea towel with one of my favorite Southern sayings on it. There’s just something about the thought of blending those two cultures that makes me grin from ear to ear! The honey apple madelines were the perfect touch to help me relax, unwind and indulge while I curled up with my cup of hot green tea while my daughter napped.
If you’d like to take a stab at making your own batch of madelines, here’s my complete recipe for you to try:
- ½ cup apple puree (apple sauce works fine, too)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 7 Tbs butter, melted + 1 Tbs for greasing pan
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tbs honey
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon and stir well
- In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar and honey and stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes
- Slowly pour flour mixture into egg mixture and begin to stir
- Add in applesauce, melted butter and vanilla extract and mix until well combined
- Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to an hour
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Using a basting brush, grease the madeline baking pan with additional butter, making sure to get into all the tiny crevices. Very lightly dust the pan with flour if desired - optional
- Pour batter into madeline pan, filling each section almost to the top
- Bake for 11-12 minutes
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
- Lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve with tea
Tea is such a prevalent part of the Southern culture, and it’s something that I love and appreciate so much. When I drink and serve tea, I want to make sure that I always have the best on hand. Serving Bigelow Tea gives me a sense of pride in knowing that I’m truly sipping the best, and reminds me that there’s always a reason to sit down, relax and enjoy a cup of tea prepared just the way you like it!
And speaking of relaxing, check out this amazing getaway sweepstakes going on right now, sponsored by Bigelow Tea: