Fall seems to be coming early this year. At least, that’s what my brain is telling me. Even the weather is telling me this, if you go by what is outside my window right now: an even grey of cloud-cover. Kinda feels like I’m back in Washington, even if it will likely only last the morning. Otherwise the weather has been fully super-summer with the heat and sun and stuff.
Every time I have looked at Pinterest lately, more and more fall items have been appearing. I do love fall – it’s generally been that time of year that I start baking my brains out, preparing for a Halloween party, and getting into the anticipation of the holiday season. I love the scents and colors of fall – warm oranges, reds, rich browns, the occasional green accent. I like the crispness of the air in the evenings, that chill that comes in on the wind. Summer is pretty wonderful and all, but I think I still prefer fall.
At any rate, Mikal and I were discussing the more standard fare for the items I am bringing to the office – essentially coming up with about half a dozen items I regularly bring in and keep it stocked with – when I thought about the pumpkin coffee cake I made last year. So amazingly good. My next thought was “MAKE ALL THE PUMPKINS!” I hope we get enough pumpkins from the CSA to keep me stocked for what I need, but it probably won’t. I’ll be keeping my eye out for sugar pies at the store, and will likely be attempting to vary the recipe by substituting applesauce and such.
In other news, apparently I have never made sugar cookies. I don’t terribly like them, so I guess it makes sense to some extent, but you’d think I would have made at least one batch by now. Nope! I came to this realization when I had no idea what the cookies were supposed to look like “done.” I set the timer to the appropriate time to take them out, and when it went off I checked, as all ovens are a little different. They looked too moist. Also rather fluffier than the pictures from the source. And too wet. I left them in for another minute, watching them. They didn’t look any different, so I took them out, let them sit on the cookie sheet a bit. They eventually deflated and looked more normal, so I ate one. It did seem a tad under-done, but it was still rather warm. I took bites of the cookie over the course of 3-4 minutes, and noticed that it developed the proper consistency the longer it cooled. Whew.
They do taste and smell amazing. It’s a bit like a more spicy snickerdoodle. I think I can still only do a couple before I have to quit, though.
Chai-Spiced Sugar Cookies
from My Baking Addiction
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner and set aside.
In an appropriately-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl (or the bowl of a mixer) combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture and set aside for rolling the cookies.
In that same bowl, beat the butter and sugar-spice mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, and combine until fully incorporated. Slowly blend in dry ingredients until just combined.
Using a small scoop, roll dough into balls and then into the reserved sugar-spice mixture. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet roughly 1 1/2″ apart.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand on baking sheet for 3 minutes before moving them to cool on a wire rack.