The Pre-Fall Struggle

As September comes to a close, everyday becomes a slight crisis. You want to continue the feeling of syllabus week but you also have to study. Midterms are coming up, but you are in a state of denial. Eid just passed but you still want to party (which you can at the Eid Banquet). The weather does not help either because you do not know whether to take out your fall wardrobe or stick to summer clothes. We are stuck between the lines of a new school year and summer vacation vibes and it is really hard to bounce out. It’s the struggle period in every aspect. But have faith and no fear. In the Quran, Allah (SWT) says, “Verily, with hardship there is relief” (Qur’an 94:6). So take a deep breath, and plan out your upcoming weeks. Do not leave everything for last minute because we all know how that works out. Treat yourself once in awhile, although try to limit yourself from over treating (five minute shouldn’t segue into four hour marathons of Parks and Rec, no matter how tempting). Set time aside to study by yourself and make study groups to force yourself into staying on task. It’s okay to say no to social events, there always will be more after you, satisfyingly, get an A on your exam. Overall, the trick is to do what comes best for you. Make loads of dua and ask others to reciprocate the love. Inshallah everything will turn out fine. Afterwards, when it is truly fall, you can celebrate.

And with what you may ask? There are essentially two things that signify to me that fall is here to stay. Pumpkins and white hot chocolate. Everything transforms into a version of pumpkin spice, from shoes to bread. Fall becomes a pumpkin spice fest. Alhamdulilah, I am here to grace you all with two recipes that will make studying a bit more bearable, telling people you can’t come out of the library something you look forward to, and relaxing a bit more fun.

Cookies are the bane of my existence and they will be for you too after you try these Pumpkin Spice cookies. Never has saying another one been more relevant.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Time: 2 hours (trust me it’s worth it)

Oven Temperature: 325

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 large egg

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1 stick of unsalted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

Directions:

1) Melt the butter and then let it cool.

2) Take out two separate bowls. In the first one, mix the butter with the brown sugar. Then add and make sure to fully incorporate the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla into the mix.

3) In the other bowl, fully mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

4) Slowly start adding the flour mixture into the first bowl. Do it in small batches, making sure that everything is mixed evenly.

5) By now the dough should be soft and fairly uniform. Pour the dough into saran wrap (plastic wrap) and completely cover it. Then put it into the freezer for about an hour.

This will help the cookie come out moist and soft for days.

6) Make the dough into balls and put them onto a tray covered with a baking sheet.

7) Bake the cookie for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are slightly brown

Let the cookies cool completely and then enjoy!

(Baker’s note: Don’t be afraid to add chocolate chips. Do whatever makes your heart content. Also bread flour is the best for making the cookies ultimately beautiful. But as a college student I can confirm that nobody has time for that.)

*Adapted from HandletheHeat  

After you’ve spent the time loving the cookies, you realize it needs a drink companion. That’s where White Hot Chocolate comes in.

White Hot Chocolate

Yield: 4 cups (or 1 depending on how much you are willing to share)

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups of milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

6 1/2  ounces of white chocolate (could be chocolate chips or a bar)

Chocolate syrup or whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

1) Make sure to chop up the chocolate if it isn’t already in chocolate chip form.

2) Pour the milk, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon into a saucepan.

3) Keep the stove at a medium heat.

4) Occasionally stir the contents, making sure the mix simmers but does not boil.

5) As soon as the simmering starts, take the pan off the stovetop.

6) Pour the white hot chocolate into 4 cups.

Put whipped cream on top and drizzle it with chocolate syrup. Hopefully you will love it as much as I do.

*DISCLAIMER*- We are not responsible for any instant deaths due to the amount of love these recipes have. Enjoy with caution.

Inshallah it’s lit.

-Fiha Abdulrahman

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