Mixing it Up

Baking Cookies

From the time I was fourteen or fifteen years old, I’ve had this fantasy of owning a bookstore/cafe, only it wouldn’t be like the cafes nestled inside Barnes and Noble. Instead, it would be an old house, and each room would have a different theme, and matching menu. Sort of like that restaurant chain that I can’t remember the name of, where there was an African room and an Undersea room. Only in my fantasy cafe, there would be a mystery room and a science fiction room, and…well…you get the idea.

Fantasies are lovely, but the reality is that retail sucks, and the restaurant business is pretty thankless, and I prefer to let this dream remain in dreamland, indulging it, instead, by reading novels where recipes are prominent.

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is an example of this, but for some reason, mysteries feature food a lot more than anything else (well, the Pern books had a lot of great dishes, and Melanie Rawn’s Ambrai series…but…) and one of my favorite series is Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mysteries.

I’ve been a fan of her work (and yes, I know “Cleo Coyle” isn’t really Cleo Coyle, but that’s not the point) since the first book, and have just finished the 13th, so you can imagine how tickled I was when she sent me an autographed copy of it after I contacted her about an interview for All Things Girl. I was even MORE tickled that she enclosed a bunch of recipe cards, one of which we’re making tonight.

Well, sort of.

The recipe card was for a candy cane frosting, but obviously if you’re making frosting, you must have something to, well, frost. Now, on her website, that frosting is paired with a standard brownie (from a mix) with a bit of ‘enhancement’ optional.

I don’t buy mixes.

And I have an excellent brownie mix, but it’s much more fun to go to the Source, Herself.

So I hopped on Facebook, and took a chance, asking if she had a scratch recipe that she’d recommend.

She did. And she sent me the link.

It’s a dark chocolate brownie with chocolate chips and espresso powder and…yeah.

I’ll post a follow up tomorrow afternoon when we put everything together (we’re making the brownies tonight, but will frost them tomorrow), and I’ll share the links at that time.

Meanwhile, y’all can go to bed imagining candy cane frosting on dark chocolate brownies.

Image credit: robynmac / 123RF Stock Photo

Midnight Brownies and Mystery Books.

“Yes, I AM baking brownies at 10:47 PM,” I posted on Facebook an hour or so ago. “Doesn’t everyone?”

The thing about the weeks when Fuzzy is away for work is that I tend to live on my own schedule, and that doesn’t always have anything to do with conventional work/rest cycles. Yesterday, for example, I intentionally spent the entire day curled up with books, and even though I got a lot done today, I never bothered to change out of my comfy pajamas. (This may have something to do with the time of the month; it may not.)

So, when I started craving chocolate, and knew I didn’t want to go through the effort of making cookies – my recipe for chocolate chip cookies, while awesome, makes 4.5 dozen, and I didn’t want to stand there and make little balls of cookie dough and fill trays and stuff, (Yes, I know, one is not required to make all 4.5 dozen, but I always do because I think the dough tastes weird after being chilled.) I found a brownie recipe to try.

I made a batch and watched live television until it was done, and then I had brownies while watching tonight’s CASTLE on the DVR, and even cleaned up the kitchen after.

And now? Now I’m wearing fresh pajamas because I did shower today – I mean, I didn’t feel the need for real clothes, but cleanliness is required.

The new Cleo Coyle book was literally just released. Guess who is about to download it?

Guess who will probably be up all night reading it?

Happy Holidailies