Friday, October 2, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Cuppa Joe Mocha Drops & Espresso Shot!

My recipe for you today is a decadent chocolate frosted brownie-like cookie kissed with the sultry note of coffee. But first...(drumroll please...) I am thrilled to announce the publication of my most recent Coffeehouse Mystery, Espresso Shot, in mass market paperback format! Huzzah!

For months now, I’ve had e-mails from readers asking when it was coming, and this week it’s finally here! In honor of its publication, I’m serving you up a little nibble today—a very special little excerpt!

To read a fun, free
excerpt from my latest
Espresso Shot
The excerpt will appear
in PDF format.

This is actually one of my favorite scenes in the book. ~ Cleo

So what is this book about? In a hazelnutshell, Espresso Shot is a murder mystery set during the week of an elaborate wedding. Clare Cosi, the main character and amateur sleuth of the series, gets roped into protecting the clueless bridezilla of this affair, who doesn’t believe her life is being threatened—which, off course, it is. Clare’s pulling double duty, too, because she was also hired to create a gourmet coffee and dessert bar for the grand reception to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

When she’s not solving murders, Clare’s regular gig is manager and head barista of the Village Blend, a century-old landmark coffeehouse located in New York’s historic Greenwich Village, a charming neighborhood of welcoming cafes, cozy bistros, and lovingly preserved town houses.

Click here to visit Joe the Art of Coffee, the real Greenwich Village coffeehouse that inspired the creation of my fictional Village Blend and provided me with valuable insights and info.

Last fall Food and Wine magazine name Joe one of the best coffee bars in the country. Go Joe!

To get a little taste of what Clare Cosi's job is all about (and witness some world-class Latte Art being made right before your eyes!) play the little video below. It features Kyle Glanville, one of the top baristas working in the United States today. Kyle won last year's U.S. Barista Champtionship, which qualified him to advance to world competition...

In Espresso Shot, Clare's coffee was only half of the culinary story.

Coming up with an elaborate dessert menu (as well as a selection of exotic coffees) for the book's elegant wedding reception was great foodie fun for me. It also brought back some wonderful memories.

While I was growing up, bountiful trays of cookies, baked by the women of my family, were a beloved and expected addition to our Italian-American wedding feasts. Click here or on cookie tray to virtually visit a famous NY Italian bakery with an online shop! And, yes, they have cannoli!

Of course, in Italian culture, cookies aren’t just eaten at special occasions. Pizzelles, sesame cookies (see my recipe in Decaffeinated Corpse), pignolis, amaretti, biscotti (see my recipe in Latte Trouble), and many other kinds are enjoyed at all hours of the day: at breakfast with cappuccinos, in the afternoon with an espresso pick-me-up, or after dinner on an elegant dessert dish.

Two of my favorite Italian cookie recipes are included in the Recipes and Tips section Espresso Shot. The first is an anginetti, a satisfying treat to have with coffee. Light and buttery with a sweet lemon glaze, they often make their appearance during the holidays, and the (optional) sprinkle of nonpareils (confetti in Italian) over the glaze makes them an excellent wedding cookie, too.

Baci di Romeo or Romeo’s Kisses (isn’t that the greatest name for a wedding cookie?!) is another of my favorites: Rich chocolate ganache seals the kiss of two delicious, almond-flavor cookies. My recipe for Baci di Romeo is included in Espresso Shot, too. So for today, I'm bringing you another...

I created this cookie a few months ago for the "customers" of my own *virtual* coffeehouse.

My Cuppa Joe Mocha Drops (pictured above and below) may not be Italian, but they were invented by an Italian-American cook (me!) and they make use of an ingredient Italians love to put to use in sweet confections, like tiramisu—of course, I’m talking about coffee, java, bean juice, nectar of the godesss caffina! So click the link below to get my frosted mocha cookie recipe and Eat with Joy!

To get my recipe for
Cuppa Joe Mocha Drops,
click here.

The recipe will appear in PDF format
You can print it out or save it to your computer.

For more of my recipes or to find out more
about the books in my culinary mystery series,
click this link to my virtual home at

~Cleo Coyle
author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries
"Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."

TIP: Sign up at my Web site for my free seasonal E-newsletter and you'll be entered automatically in my weekly FREE COFFFEE drawings--just a way for me share my latest "Coffee Picks" with readers and site visitors.

To leave a comment for Cleo, visit her Web site's
Message Board at


  1. Oh Boy! Coffee and Chocolate ... how could you go wrong?

    Congrats on the new book. I am looking forward to reading it. mmm ... maybe with a few of these yummy cookies on hand....


  2. Congrats on the release of Espresso Shot in paperback. I had the joy of reading it in hardback and really enjoyed it. And now to make yummy cookies! Yeah.

  3. I loved Espresso Shot and can hardly wait for Holiday Grind! The recipes have me drooling. I was gonna start a much needed diet, but . . . ☺

  4. Those look delish. I am loving the coffee shop mysteries.


  5. Another mouth-watering recipe, yum!

    Congrats on the release of Expresso Shot. I also enjoy your Clare Cosi books and want to get back to reading them again. So many books, so little time!

  6. I could use some mocha drops right now! Yum, yum! I don't know nearly as much about Italian desserts as I'd like to--thanks for the overview on some of the different treats. I love the idea that they're appropriate to eat at any time during the day!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  7. Cleo-

    What a fabulously "rich" blog post. You kept
    me entertained on so many levels. I loved the excerpt and can't wait to make the cookies to eat while I read the entire book! Delightful!

  8. Thank you for that scrumptious-looking recipe, Cleo. And tante grazie for writing cannoli, and not cannolis!

  9. Hi Molly - Agree! Coffee and chocolate are a primo combo.

    Avery - Awww, thanks for the kind words!

    Dorothy - I'm so happy to hear that you're looking forward to my November release (Holiday Grind). Lol on the diet! I'm afraid Holiday Grind's recipe section won't be too helpful with the diet issue, either. On the other hand, we can always make our chocolate-caramel lattes with SKIM milk! LOL!

    Erin - Thank you! I very much appreciate your stopping by today!

    LadyPI - Shout-out to Jack the ghost's favorite reader. You are very sweet to consider putting Clare Cosi on your reading list. I know Pen and Jack are honored to be on it.

    ~Cleo Coyle
    "Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  10. Elizabeth - Thanks for dropping in! I'm always fascinated to learn about foodie traditions of other cultures. For years I took for granted my family's wedding cookie tradition. As an adult, I now realize it's a unique tradition worth writing about and exploring via recipes. Of course, our foodie heritage is part of our cultural heritage. That's one of the reasons I'm always so interested when you talk about your Southern roots and memories. That and the sheer visceral pleasure of hearing about delish dishes!

    ~ Cleo

  11. Jenn - I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the blog today, especially the Espresso Shot excerpt, which is one of my favorite scenes in the book. I hope you have a good time reading it!

    Linda - Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving a comment! May you enjoy the cookies and LOL on "cannoli" - prego! Ciao!

    ~ Cleo

  12. What a wonderful post with a great video and delicious recipe! Thank you for sharing such delicious treats!

  13. Jessica! - Gourmet Girl is in the House! Thanks for dropping by.


  14. Coffee always makes chocolate so much better. Congrats on the paperback release!

  15. Thanks, Janel! I truly appreciate your good wishes!

    Java cheers,