Alice's Tea Cup is my favorite place in NYC for tea & scones. I used to go there all the time when I loved near the one in the Upper East Side. They have different scones all the time, and a huge selection of fabulous teas, as well as great salads, sandwiches and desserts. Its one of my all-time favorite brunch places, if not for the crowds and long wait at brunch time on the weekends. Their roobois coconut vanilla, chocolate mint and entire range of teas are always a delight, and I've bought many of them for use at home. Plus, the place is absolutely adorable - all decked out in the cutest Alice In Wonderland stuff. The place is like a little girl's dreamland. I really miss living close by to Alice's (although I miss little else about living in the Upper East Side), so I was thrilled when my husband brought home a copy of the new Alice's Tea Cup cookbook. All of my favorite recipes are in there, and I couldn't wait to get started.
For dinner tonight, I made a simple cucumber tea sandwich with lemon chive butter, one of my favorite sandwiches, and banana butterscotch scones. Tomorrow night, I plan on making the Lapsang Souchong tea infused chicken sandwiches. I will share the sandwich recipe in a future post, but for this post, I will share the great recipe for scones, which is one of the things that Alice's is famous for. There are so many amazing sounding scones recipes in the book, but I decided to start with this banana butterscotch recipe. My husband wanted me to make it with chocolate chips, which I am sure would also be good - but the butterscotch chips are just perfect, and much more subtle with the banana. The recipe made a total of 16, so we will be sharing some with friends. They are perfect when served traditionally with raspberry preserves and clotted cream.
3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks of butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I used the huge bottle of Vanilla that I bought in Mexico)
1/4 cup heavy cream (for brushing)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
Preheat the oven to 425. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Work the butter into the flour mixture with clean hands until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the banana slices and butterscotch chips and combine well. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and add the buttermilk and vanilla into the center of the well. Combine until the mixture is wet but do not knead.
Gather the dough together and pat and cut into discs about 1 1/2 inch thick. Cut apart the scones and lay them on a non-stick baking sheet. Before you bake, brush the top of each scone with heavy cream, and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake each sheet separately for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.