It won't be long before the deciduous trees are bare, but before the leaves go they usually give a good show of color. Some years the colors are more vibrant than others.
Happily this is a good year for color ~ predominantly yellows, ambers, and oranges with a few reds mixed in. Then there are the unusually pretty mottled ones.
When it's a colorful year, leaf-wise, I collect some of the prettier ones, wash them in the utility room and use them as decorations on the table for a few days to enjoy them up close.
To celebrate the season I like to make Oak Leaf Wafer cookies.
I remember when I first saw these stencils in a Williams-Sonoma catalog several years ago ... of course I had to run right down to buy them.
Rather than dough, these cookies made from a thick batter, which produces a very thin cookie.
The stencils are placed directly on the cookie sheet, then the thick nut-batter is spread thinly and evenly in the stencil cut-out, the stencil is lifted straight up, leaving a very thin cookie shape behind. The cookies are then baked off for just minutes, until golden.
They can simply be dusted with confectioner's (powdered) sugar, but I like to 'paint' one side of them with melted chocolate, I etch veins into the leaves with a wooden skewer while the chocolate is firming up. For the golden colored leaves, I use melted butterscotch chips.
You may stir in a teaspoon or so of solid shortening to the melted chocolate or chips before decorating the cookies; this will allow the coating to set up extra firmly.
Of course you don't need the special stencils to make these cookies, you could obtain similar results by using your favorite cut-out sugar cookie recipe, cut into the shapes of leaves and decorate them as shown.
I think it's a fitting farewell to the leaves, which provided us with oxygen and welcome relief from the blazing summer sun, we won't see them again until early spring.