Fall is my favorite. I am all about pumpkin spice the first day of September. I bust out the flannels and boots and scan the ground for those first crunchy leaves. I know it’s not for everyone, but every year, I am ready for it. #TSwift.
And, as autumn rolls in, out comes the baker in me. I fry homemade donuts, brew apple cider, and make pretty much anything that gets those fall spices blooming in the kitchen. This year, I was ready for October with a big pitcher of homemade chai.
Like I am about my coffee, I am very particular about chai. I like it spicy (not hot-spicy, just flavored-with-a-lot-of-spices-spicy) and a lot less sweet than it’s typically served, so I only used a few tablespoons in mine. Luckily, sugar is easy to add in, so if you have more of a sweet tooth then you can adjust it to your liking.
I wanted something not too sweet to go with the chai, and I’ve had a thing for shortbread ever since Seth and I had it each morning on the porch of our cabin in Scotland. So I grabbed a recipe I’ve made before, made some adjustments, and came up with rosemary lavender shortbread!
Best enjoyed with fall colors in sight. If you make either recipe below, tag me @tocoffeewithlove or use #tocoffeewithlove on Instagram so I can see!
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Recipe adapted from Epicurious.
Yields four servings.
Takes about 30 minutes to prepare.
Things You’ll Need:
- A medium saucepan with a lid
- A metal spoon
- A funnel
- A Teapot (or pitcher that can withstand hot temperatures)
2-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced (no need to peel it!)
4 Cinnamon Sticks
2 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
15 Whole Cloves
1/4 tsp. Ground Cardamom
2 tsp Fennel Seeds
A pinch of Cayenne Pepper
3 cups cold water
6 Black Tea Bags (I used Darjeeling)
3 cups whole milk
2 Tbs packed Brown Sugar, plus more to taste
Ground cinnamon for garnish (optional)
- Combine all of the spices into a medium saucepan. Lightly crush them with the back of a large metal spoon. This helps to release the flavors of the spices.
- Add water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to medium heat and partially cover the saucepan. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat. Add black tea bags to the saucepan and steep for 10 minutes. Press teabags with a spoon along the side of the saucepan before discarding them.
- Add milk and sugar to the saucepan and bring the saucepan back to medium heat. While waiting for it to reach a good temperature for drinking, prepare the funnel by putting several layers of cheesecloth in it. Place the funnel in the teapot.
- Once hot, strain the chai into the teapot. Serve sprinkled with ground cinnamon.
- There are a lot of spices in this recipe, and a few of them can be pretty pricey. I recommend heading to a grocery store with a bulk food section. You’ll be able to get grab only what you need!
Rosemary Lavender Shortbread
Recipe adapted from Mom on Timeout.
Yields 2.5 dozen.
Takes about an hour to prepare.
Things You’ll Need:
- Baking sheet
- Plastic wrap or tin foil
- Parchment paper (if your baking sheet is not nonstick)
- An electric mixer (or a lot of patience)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted, sweet cream butter, cold and cubed.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp dried lavender, chopped
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped
- Add flour and sugar to bowl and combine. Add cubes of butter with a paddle attachment on low speed until small crumbs form. If you don’t have an electric mixer, you’ll have to break the butter with your hands
- Add vanilla, lavender and rosemary. Knead in the bowl until a dough begins to form and crumbs no longer fall from it. It will take a while, but it’ll happen!
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap or tin foil on your workspace. Make a log out of the dough, about 2.5 inches in diameter, and wrap it completely. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes and no longer than that. Turn the oven on to 325 degrees.
- Take the dough out and slice rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Place them on your prepared baking sheet about an inch apart from each other.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Cookies will not turn brown when done. Do not overbake.
- Let the cookies cool completely before storing them in ziplock bag or airtight container.