Last week, I was finally able to pull out the heated blanket I had stored away in March. Five days ago, I switched from drinking iced coffee in the afternoons to hot chocolate. Finally, yesterday, I even had to wear a jacket with my outfit. Fall is here at last, and the threat of winter is coming closer! When the cold winds rush in, my afternoon activities change from hiking in the sun to reading in my room. Heated blankets and sweaters can only warm our bodies from the outside, however. If we want to stay truly warm throughout this winter, we need a few hot drinks and tasty treats to keep our insides warm! Usually, during the fall months, I turn my house into an in-house operating café, pouring out hot drinks all season long! Here are a few of my all-time favorite drinks recipes (and coffee tips for brewing the perfect cup) for you to make in your kitchen, along with some tasty treats to go with them!
A classic—everyone loves a good cup of hot coffee in the morning. However, there are a few easy tips to making the best coffee that you have ever had!
Storing: Store your coffee grounds in a cool place, and in a sealed container. Keeping the top of your coffee grounds container closed will help lock the flavor of the beans inside. I have often heard the fallacy that the best way to store coffee is in the refrigerator, but that is simply not true. If you store them in the refrigerator, the coffee will often take on the taste of other foods it is stored with. You might end up with a garlicky flavored cup of morning Joe!
Topping: Froth your milk cold. Most people heat their milk before frothing it, but I prefer it cold. Cold milk holds its shape better, making the froth thicker. The cold milk on top of the hot coffee also adds an exciting contrast! You can order a milk frother for as little as $20 on Amazon, and turn your kitchen into a true coffee house!
Sweetening: Use liquids when mixing sweeteners. Do you love mochas, or add a little sugar to your coffee? If you do, try using liquids such as simple syrups or condensed milk instead of granulated sugar. The liquids will dissolve faster into your coffee, making it a much more enjoyable drink! Also, never try to mix straight cocoa powder into coffee. Cocoa beans actually have a thin coating of oil on them, making this an impossible feat. Dissolve the cocoa powder into another substance, such as condensed milk, before adding it to the coffee.
This drink is right and spicy to your taste buds! It can be served hot or cold, like a latte or plain. Boil up the tea, and you can keep it stored in your refrigerator for weeks!
1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cups of water
3 black tea bags
Step 1: Add, into a pot, the water, chopped ginger, pepper, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Bring the water and spice mixture to a boil then remove from heat. Let it sit overnight.
Step 2: The next morning, bring the water to a simmer and add the tea bags. Let steep for 20 minutes, then strain and throw away tea bags and leftover spices.
Step 3: Store in a refrigerator in a glass or plastic container for further use. You can have it hot with sugar and foamed milk, or iced and unsweetened! I prefer it with a bit of condensed milk.
Spiced Apple Cider
Pumpkin-spiced recipes often steal the spotlight during fall, but we must not forget the crops of apples that are ripening right at this time of year! Apple cider is one of my favorite hot drinks to enjoy during cold months.
4 cups of apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
2 star anise
Add all of the ingredients together in a pot and bring to a simmer. Let the mixture sit on medium-high heat for 20 minutes, and serve warm!
This creamy, spiced goodness melts in your mouth, and can be served both warm and cold! A perfect addition to a fall brunch, or anytime you are looking for a snack!
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups of whole milk
A pinch of cinnamon
A pinch of cloves
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a pie pan filled halfway with water in the middle of the oven to create a water bath.
Step 2: Heat the milk over a stovetop until it forms a skin and steams a little. Do not let it burn!
Step 3: Whisk together the eggs, salt, and vanilla in a separate, flat-bottomed bowl.
Step 4: Mix the hot milk with the egg mixture in the bowl (be sure to do so slowly and in batches as not to scramble the eggs!). Then, pour the mixture into a decorative baking dish for baking and serving. Sprinkle the cinnamon and cloves on top to garnish.
Step 5: Carefully place the bowl into the water bath pie dish in the oven, and cook for about 50 minutes. The custard will be done when you can shake the pan, and it jiggles like Jell-O but does not slosh like a liquid.
Additions: You can sprinkle sugar on top of the custard and fire it lightly with a torch to make Crème Brule. The crunchy sugar top adds an extra layer of texture and sweetness to your dish!
I do not like store-bought doughnuts; all of the extra grease and sugar they carry always make me feel a little sick. However, these homemade-baked doughnuts are a much healthier and tastier alternative. Furthermore, you can control exactly how much sugar topping you have on your doughnuts! They are the perfect fall treat.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Makes: 12 doughnuts
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease the doughnut wells with butter and flour (I got my pan at JoAnn’s, but nearly every store that sells cooking supplies sells them. You can also check online.).
Step 2: Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla together until it forms a smooth paste. Add the dry ingredients half at a time and mix until fully combined.
Step 4: Spoon the batter into the doughnut wells until they are about ¾ full. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
Step 5: Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Step 6: Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl for the topping while you wait for the doughnuts to cool! Set each doughnut in the mixture and flip until both sides are evenly coated with the cinnamon sugar.
These doughnuts are excellent fresh from the oven, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week!
About the Author:
Name: Juliet Lucas
How many years were you apart of TPS before you graduated?
I started TPS when I was in eighth grade, and continued classes through high school. My favorite classes were History Through Film and Home Economics. Even though I graduated last spring, I still feel very connected to the TPS community.
What college are you attending?
I am currently attending DVC Community College and hope to transfer to a University within the next three years.
What are a few of your hobbies?
I love being outdoors, and I often go on hikes and shoot archery with my family. When I am inside, I am usually reading or writing short stories. My favorite pastime is making short films with my friends, which I spend a great deal of time editing.