While there is no denying that the arrival of summer is highly anticipated at the end of each year, I have to admit that I rather look forward to the autumn season. A welcome respite from the heat, beautiful red and brown leaves dotting the trees and an excuse to start enjoying some favourite comfort foods are just a few of the things that come to mind.
|Autumn in New York|
When I think of autumn I am often reminded of my first trip to New York in October 2009. I am not sure whether it was the season, or perhaps the fact that Halloween was just around the corner, but whilst exploring the local food shops I distinctly remember a recurring theme - pumpkin! In particular I recall visiting William Sonoma at Columbus Circle, a beautiful store near Central Park which at the time was filled to the brim with all things pumpkin. Anything and everything you could possibly need to make, fill, contain and decorate a pumpkin pie, pumpkin flavoured treats and baking goodies, and of course - jars and jars of pumpkin spice. So, inspired by our friends in the northern hemisphere, I have used these warming spices to put an autumnal twist on one of South Africa's favourite cookies. (You won't find any actual pumpkin though!)
PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES
with CHOC-YOGHURT DRIZZLE
1 1/2 cups (375ml) oats
1/2 cup (125ml) cake flour
1/4 cup (60ml) dessicated coconut
1 1/2 tsp (7.5ml) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5ml) ground ginger
1/4 tsp (1.25ml) nutmeg
1/4 tsp (1.25ml) cloves
1/4 tsp (1.25ml) allspice
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) bicarb
1/2 cup (125ml) light brown sugar
2 tbsp (30ml) golden syrup
For the drizzle:
70g white chocolate chips / discs
50ml vanilla yoghurt
Step 1.) Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Step 2.) Place the oats, flour, coconut, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and bicarb in a bowl and mix well until everything is blended evenly. Set aside.
Step 3.) Place the sugar, syrup and butter in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until the butter has melted and the mixture starts to bubble. Remove from the heat and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined.
Step 4.) Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls and arrange on your baking tray, allowing some space for spreading. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.
Step 5.) Pop the tray in the oven for 15-18 minutes until the cookies have spread slightly and are golden. (I like to turn the tray after 10 minutes for more even baking.) Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
Step 6.) To prepare the drizzle place the white chocolate and yoghurt in a small saucepan. Stir over a very low heat until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Use a small piping bag or a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies. Leave to set.