Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Festive Fall Recipes

    The official start of fall is not for another two weeks, but if you look at the trees dotting the mountainside of the High Country you would think differently. The first chill of fall air graced our presence this weekend and soon the aromatic scents of pumpkin and caramel will follow. Pull out your warm blankets stuffed in the back of your closet and cozy up to these fall recipes.

            Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

 Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte


Pumpkin spice syrup

-  1 ½ cups of water

-  1 ½ cups sugar

-  4 cinnamon sticks or 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

-  ½ tsp ground cloves

-  ½ tsp ground ginger

-  1 tsp ground nutmeg

-  3 Tbsp canned pumpkin

For a single latte:

-  2-4 Tbsp espresso

-  6-8 oz skim milk, very hot

-  1-2 Tbsp pumpkin spice syrup

-  Optional: Whipped Cream

  1. To make the syrup: Cook sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat until the mixture is completely clear.
  2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to come to a boil.
  3. Allow mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Strain syrup through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a large jar or bottle of your choice.
  5. Keep syrup in the fridge, it will last a while.
  6. To make the latte, combine espresso with heated milk, and 1-2 Tbsp of pumpkin spice syrup (add to taste).
  7. If desired, top with whipped cream.

Estimated cook time: 25 minutes


Apple Cider Caramel Cookies:

-  1 cup unsalted butter, almost melted
-  1 cup granulated sugar
-  ½ tsp salt
-  1 (7.4 oz) box of Alpine Spiced Apple Cider instant drink mix
- 2 eggs
-  1 tsp vanilla extract
-  1 tsp baking soda
-  ½ tsp baking powder
-  3 cups All-Purpose flour
-  1 (14 oz) bag of Kraft caramels

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, salt, and all 10 packets of apple cider mix until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, and then mix in the baking soda and baking powder. Add the flour and mix until just combined.

3. With a standard (size 50) cookie scoop, scoop the dough scrapping off the excess as you go up the bowl. Flatten the dough slightly in your hand and place a caramel in the center. Work the dough around the caramel sealing well. Place the cookies two inches apart on the sheets.

4. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. After baking, carefully slide the parchment with the cookies onto the counter. Let cool until they are no longer soft but still slightly warm. Twist gently to remove, and cool the rest of the way upside down on the parchment or on a cooling rack.
So get up and into the kitchen and start your fall pre-season baking!


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