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We just love the changing of the seasons from summer to fall. With every golden leaf that paints the sidewalk and the delightful scent of autumn in the brisk air, we’re reminded of all the wonderful things to come in the near holiday season. We’re giving in completely to the coziness of fall, and what better way than snuggling up with an aromatic Maple Cider Tea Hot Toddy. Try this super simple recipe by local blogger Kayleigh Kosmas using Portland-based Stash Tea’s delicious Maple Apple Cider Tea –  a rich blend of sweet cinnamon, maple, apple and caramel flavors that perfectly capture the essence of fall. And for an extra decadent treat, pair with Chai-Iced Pumpkin Cookies (see recipes below). Now all you need are a few of your closest friends, and you’ve got a cozy afternoon tea party!

Maple Cider Tea Hot Toddy

(recipe courtesy Kayleigh Kosmas, ohhoneyblog.com)

(serves 1)

Ingredients:

10 ounces water
1 bag
Maple Apple Cider tea
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1-2 tablespoons honey (depending on how sweet you like your toddies)
1.5 ounces cognac (or any smooth brandy will do)

Directions:

Bring water to a rolling boil and pour into a mug over the tea, cinnamon stick and cloves. Steep for 4-5 minutes, then remove the tea bag.

Stir in honey, then stir in cognac. Enjoy!

Chai-Iced Pumpkin Cookies

(makes about 3 dozen cookies)

Ingredients:

Cookies

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

Icing

2 cups confectionery sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Chai Spice black tea bag
3 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Combine flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

Mix the butter and sugar in another bowl. Continue to stir while adding the pumpkin, vanilla and egg. When the mixture is creamy, stir in the dry ingredients until smooth.

If necessary, you can thicken your batter by refrigerating it for half an hour. Afterwards, drop tablespoons of batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges turn a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.

For the icing: Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat and add milk. Steep chai tea bag in this syrup for 5 minutes, then discard. Add the vanilla and sugar, and mix until it thickens into a smooth icing.

For more recipe ideas from Stash Tea, visit https://www.stashtea.com/blogs/recipes