With the temperatures changing as fall finally arrives, we can finally turn our ovens on again without fear of making the whole house feel like a sauna. Baking, and eating baked goods, invokes a feeling of coziness and warmth that is perfect as the leaves fall outside and the nights progressively get a little chillier each week. And whether you’re in the mood for something spicy or sweet, cookies have got you covered, they are always guaranteed to amaze your friends and family. Cookies are a favorite amongst most people, and a home-baked cookie can be a great alternative to Halloween candy. However, before you pull out the same recipe you’ve always used, consider doing something a little different this year. There are lots of flavors that are perfect for the fall, and some you may not have even thought of.
Ingredients Perfect for Fall
Fall also gives us so many wonderful flavors to work with. The hearty fruits like apples, pumpkins, and squashes that come into season make it a perfect opportunity to bake with comfort in mind. Warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg pair super well with the seasonal fruits readily available, and it can be the perfect time to practice some recipes before thanksgiving.
Fall is also a great time to think outside of the box when it comes to ingredients. There are a lot of sweetener options that are available besides white sugar, and they usually have dark, rich, and even minerally flavors that pair well with other fall ingredients. You can try substituting white sugar for brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey. If you want to really wow your taste buds, try something really unusual like sorghum syrup. Sorghum grass has been grown in the United States for centuries and turned into a rich golden syrup.
Ingredients like white flour can also be swapped for alternatives, and there are lots of flours that pair well with the flavors of fall. Flours like rye, buckwheat, and teff all give your baked goods a heartier, more earthy flavor that can pair very nicely with hearty vegetables like apples and pumpkins. Not to mention, these flours have a lot of nutrients, making your baked goods a little bit healthier at the same time.
A more unusual ingredient to try adding to your fall dishes: pepper. Ground peppercorns can add a smoky aspect to any dish, and cut some of the sweetness of your cookies. Black pepper is a great way to add a mild sharpness to your dish, but if you’re feeling creative you can try a bit of spice. If you’re feeling wary, think of Mexican hot chocolate recipes, which are made with sweet chocolate and spicy peppers like cayenne. Another example of sweet paired with pepper is chai. Chai is a black tea made with various spices including cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves, and white peppercorns. When sugar is added to chai it creates a bold and complex mixture of flavors, perfect for fall.
With all of these new ingredients in mind, it is the perfect time to try out a new cookie recipe. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Cookie Recipes for Fall
Salted Rye Cookies
The dough for these cookies is pretty straightforward and versatile. The main ingredient is rye flower, paired with your regular cookie ingredients like butter sugar, and eggs, as well as orange zest. Orange is a great citrus flavor to use in the fall, and the acidity pairs nicely with the heartiness of the rye flour. The secret key to these cookies is dusting them with a sugar and salt mixture before baking, it will add texture and complexity to the overall flavor.
As mentioned before, chai is a hearty, robust flavor perfect for fall. This recipe is similar to any sugar cookie recipe, but with all of the wonderful flavors included in chai.
Soft Pumpkin Cookies
It wouldn’t be fall without a pumpkin recipe, and a soft pillowy cookie is a great way to stand out among all of the other pumpkin baked goods.
Sweet Potato Cookies
Sweet potatoes are a good alternative to pumpkins, providing a similar sweet and earthy flavor to your cookies. You can try swapping it in any pumpkin cookie recipe you already love. Try adding dried cranberries or raisins to cut the richness and add texture.