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  • Gracie Carmichael

Recipes for Cozy Reading — Chai Tea Latte and Oatmeal Fudge Bars

"When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food."

-Desiderius Erasmus

Happy weekend! Autumn is in full bloom, and with the temperatures declining and sweater-weather in session, it's time for warm drinks and fall-ish treats to pair up with a good book by the fire. My especial favorite this season has been home-made chai tea lattes topped with cinnamon—such a warm, creamy treat, and perfect with gingerbread, molasses cookies, and my favorite: oatmeal fudge bars.


It's taken many autumns to perfect it, but here is my Chai Tea Latte recipe for 1 serving . . .


Ingredients:

1 Chai tea-bag

4 oz. boiling water

1 cup milk (8 oz)

1 tbsp brown sugar

3/4 tsp runny honey

drop of vanilla

dash of cinnamon


Directions:

1. Brew tea in boiling water and let steep for 5 minutes.

2. Whisk together milk, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and cinnamon until combined, and add to steeped tea.

3. Froth together in latte maker or milk frother.

4. Et voíla! Enjoy straightaway! :)

And now for the Oatmeal Fudge Bars.

I found this recipe from an old America's Test Kitchen holiday cookie catalog from 2010. The recipe was created by Emily Zinnos, an editor of the catalog, and I find there's nothing left to change in it—it is utterly perfect. Emily's recipe calls for the following:


Ingredients:

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/8 tsp salt

10 tbsp butter (8 tbsp melted and cooled)

2 tsp instant espresso or instant coffee

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 large egg


Oven temperature: 325 °F


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F and adjust oven rack to middle position. Line 8" square pan with aluminum foil, leaving excess to hang over edges of pan. Grease foil lightly.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, 1 cup of brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, soda, and 1/8 tsp salt. Stir in 8 tbsp of melted butter until combined.

  3. Set aside 3/4 cup of mixture to reserve for topping. Spread remaining mixture into foiled, greased pan and press evenly into smooth layer.

4. Bake until golden - 12 minutes. Cool for 1 hour; keep oven on 325.

5. In a small mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup remaining brown sugar, instant espresso, and 1/4 tsp of remaining salt.

6. In a separate bowl, microwave chocolate chips and remaining 2 tbsp butter until melted. Cool slightly and whisk in egg until incorporated. Mixture should look like fudge.

7. Pour filling over cooled oat crust and smooth. Sprinkle reserved 3/4 cup of oatmeal mixture evenly over top.

8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out with very few crumbs attached.

9. Cool for 2 hours, allowing fudge to set. Using overhanging foil, lift carefully out of pan and cut into squares. Makes 9 servings.

The resulting fudge bars are utterly decadent, but it's the instant espresso that really makes this recipe stand out. I find that whenever I use recipes that call for a little coffee, it's always too sublte a flavor, and I'm left wanting more. This recipe is one of the first I've come across in which that wonderful flavor really comes out.

I hope you love my chai latte recipe and oatmeal fudge bars as much as I do! I couldn't recommend them more highly with a good, cozy, autumn-y book to pair them with. :)


Enjoy!


Until next time,

-Gracie