I was driving alone on the highway, and the cup was resting perfectly upside down. ‘Okay’, I thought, ‘if I just pick it up by the bottom really fast and flip it over there will be minimal spill out of the top. Everything will be FINE.’ …Except that when I picked it up the cap popped off completely and the entire hot latte was immediately all over the bottom of my car. With no paper towels and no time, I just drove to the campsite and let it sink into the upholstery of my car. I was so, so mad. So tired, so thirsty, all I wanted was a coffee, and I was surrounded by the smell of one that I could not drink. It was one of those weird moments when you’re on the verge of tears over something really stupid just because you’re so incredibly exhausted.
But then, I got really distracted from how upset I was, because the highway came out into the clearing where it starts to run along the Columbia River Gorge, and I hadn’t driven along it in the fall in close to a decade. It literally took my breath away. The red and orange trees intermixed with the evergreen pines all along the mountains lining the gigantic, sweeping river. The misty autumn skies and the crisp fall air…it reminded me why I moved back here, and why, even when I’m run down and exhausted, I can’t really stay that upset because I am lucky enough to live 15 minutes away from the most beautiful place in the world to me. So to celebrate fall and enjoy some comfort food, I made cookies. Shortbread cookies, to be exact.
These shortbread cookies have lots of butter mixed with some flour and sugar, with an extra large spoonful of spice and black tea. I also made some delicious pumpkin shortbread cookies, pictured above, that you can take a look at over at Birchpress Design’s blog, along with the gorgeous walnut rolling pin I used to make both types of cookies. The folks over there put together a 20% discount code for you all to use in their shop, just enter “adventure” in the coupon code window at check out to use it on your entire purchase. Hurray!!
Chai Shortbread Cookies
- 3 sticks unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon earl grey tea leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In the large bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar at medium high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, tea leaves, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and salt and mix at medium speed until combined. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at medium low speed until a smooth thick dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured smooth working surface and roll out the dough until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Use a circular cookie cutter about 2 inches in diameter to cut out the cookie shapes and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake them at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until very lightly golden around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely on pan before removing with a spatula. Sprinkle with the powdered sugar. The shortbread cookies can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.