Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tea Room Recipe #52 - Chelsea's and The Village Tea Room (Asheville, N.C.)

I know what you're thinking: "I didn't eat enough sweets over Christmas, and wow, I sure do wish someone would share just ONE MORE rich, sugary dessert for me to make!" Well, friends, here you go, a deliciously rich new treat, Cranberry Raisin Bars.

As I end this year of trying tea room cookbook recipes, it's nice that the 1996 cookbook I used, "In Chelsea's Kitchen," is from a tea room I actually visited before it closed earlier this year, Chelsea's in Asheville, N.C. I visited Chelsea's once with my husband several years back, and once with some tea blogger friends in 2012. Both times I just loved Chelsea's, and I was sorry to hear it closed but happy I have a book of their recipes to enjoy!

It'll be Salad City around here in another week or so, but until then I'm still in holiday baking mode and thought these bar treats sounded particularly scrumptious. They came from the cookbook's "Afternoon Tea" chapter, and indeed I thought my Cranberry Raisin Bars were simply perfect enjoyed (in small portions) with tea!

Cranberry Raisin Bars

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablepoons all-purpose flour, divided use
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups mixed dried cranberries, golden and dark raisins (I used half cranberries, half dark raisins)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest (I upped this to 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, then add the brown sugar and 1/2 cup of flour. Combine with a pastry blender until you have a soft dough, then pat it into the bottom of an 8-inch-square baking pan prepared with cooking spray. Bake for 5 minutes. While crust bakes, combine remaining 2 tablespoons of flour with other ingredients. When crust has finished baking, top with mixture, then bake for 25 minutes more, or until edges are beginning to brown. Cool completely before slicing.

***Be sure to stop by next Saturday if you'd like to see what my 2014 "Tea Project" is!


  1. Never been there but love the cookbook -- their quiche can't be beat and I've tried so many other recipes from that book but I've never tried these -- next fall, next fall -- for they look delicious!

  2. Looks delicious. So sorry yet another tea house closed. Went to Asheville for first time in June - we even checked into tea houses but never got around to going. The Biltmore has a nice proper afternoon tea, and that's where we stayed.

    I LOVE you collect these treasured recipe books, Angela. And this recipe doesn't fail us - yet, rich and sugary but also has some rather good things in it to enjoy.

    I am copying it for my collection, yum, thanks for sharing!

    Happy New Year! Hugs.

  3. Sounds wonderful! And I will be interested to see your next Saturday project. Happy New Year!

  4. I'm still working through the leftover shortbread and gingerbread cutouts. These do look yummy for any time of year.
    Thanks for sharing so many tantalizing recipes Angela.

  5. Now this sounds just delicious! Thanks for the share!

  6. Sad to hear they have closed.
    My boys will love this recipe.

  7. Lucky you to have Chelsea Tea Room's cookbook. I'm so glad I got to visit the tea room [with you being present!] before it closed. I'm with Joy - I can hardly wait to see what your next series of Saturday posts will be in 2014. With your creativity, I know it will be great!

  8. Angela, I have to tell you how much I've enjoyed this "Tea Room Recipe" Saturday through the past year. It's been absolutely delightful! Thank you so much for sharing from all your darling tea room cookbooks!! :)

  9. Great recipe, Angela! Happy New Year, Joanie


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