Monday, May 2, 2011

Agatha Winners!

I am overjoyed to announce that Mystery Lover's Kitchen has not one, but two Agatha winners! At the award banquet on Saturday night, Avery Aames won the Agatha award for Best First Novel, and Mary Jane Maffini won the Agatha award for Best Short Story. We're so proud of you both!

Alas, none of us were present when Julie Hyzy won the Lovey award for the Reader's Choice for Best Traditional Mystery earlier this year, but we're excited and so proud of Julie, too!

After all that excitement, cookies are a bit of a snore!

For reasons that I haven't quite figured out, chocolate chip cookies are in great demand at my house. One reviewer said of The Diva Runs Out of Thyme that Sophie had a seemingly endless supply of chocolate chip cookies. That used to be the case for me. I always had a roll of homemade chocolate chip cookies in the freezer. I can't quite put my finger on the reason, but now I'm always out of them! Horrors!

Since I'm baking all these cookies of the same type, I have decided to make it fun -- Krista's Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest. The Quadruple Chocolate Chip Cookies I made at Christmas will be hard to beat, but sometimes you don't want something quite so chocolatey. Last time I posted Bobby Flay's recipe, with the Kosher salt that turned out to be such a terrific addition. I liked Bobby's recipe a lot.

Is anyone else watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? What an eye-opener. I've been looking for his healthy version of chocolate chip cookies but haven't found it yet.

Today's recipe comes from the Food Network Kitchen's How to Boil Water and is apparently the recipe of someone named Meredith.

What struck me about this particular recipe is how much they taste like Chips Ahoy. Which brings me to my theory that we often want food to taste familiar. Okay, well, not if it was something we hated. But people are always saying something doesn't taste like it did when mom made it. I wonder if we develop taste preferences based on what we already know. It's fun to try something new, but maybe familiarity of flavor is the reason that one of us loves a certain recipe and another thinks it's not quite right.

Among taste testers who tried both the Bobby Flay recipe and this one, we're tied. It's an even split. I found the Bobby Flay cookies to be chewier and these to be more cakey.

Food Network Kitchen's Chocolate Chip Cookies by Meredith

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed dark sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips, or chunks

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Cream the butter with the sugars. Add the eggs and mix well. Slowly add the dry ingredients and the vanilla. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Bake 12 to 16 minutes.


  1. Congratulations MJ and Avery! The Agathas are well-deserved and couldn't have gone to nicer, lovelier people!

    And Krista...cookies are never a snore! Especially these. And I love that you're going on a chocolate chip cookie quest. My children love you for it, because I keep baking. :)

  2. Thank you, Krista. Woohoo for MJ (again) and another for Julie (why didn't you tell me!). Thanks, Elizabeth. All the outpouring of good wishes has been astonishing and so lovely.

    Krista, love the cookies. Must have one soon. Sugar is definitely in my future! :) I'm on the road today at Oakmont, PA. What beautiful countryside as we drove here from Washington DC.


  3. Congrats Avery and MJ!

    It's a bit chilly here and a perfect time to put the oven on with aroma of chocolate chip cookies baking.

  4. Elizabeth, your children are in luck. I seem to keep baking and baking! Where do all the cookies all go?

    Avery! I'm so happy for you. Enjoy Oakmont!

    Dru, it's always such fun to see you at Malice. It's chilly here, too, and I'm already thinking of baking something to warm up.

    ~ Krista

  5. Congrats on the Agathas, Avery & MJ! And to Julie for the Lovey. Applause all around. We're so pleased for you! What a nice way to celebrate with Krista's "award-winning" cookies. Yum!

  6. Woo-hoo!! So exciting to see my good friends acknowledged for their talents! Very excited for both of you (and very sweet of you, Krista, to include me!). I have to say it again for Avery and MJ: WOO-HOO!!

  7. Lynn, the award ceremony was very exciting. Mystery Lover's Kitchen was well represented and we were thrilled to have two winners.

    Julie, I wish we had been there to see you get your Lovey award!

    ~ Krista

  8. Krista - Thx for posting the photos on the blog (and thx to Julie for putting them on facebook). I could not be prouder of Avery and MJ for their Agatha wins and Julie for her Lovey win! Well-deserved honors all. I wish I could have been there to toast you in person, but these fun photos are helping us all join in the celebration!

    As for the cookies, I am always happy to learn about a tasty new take on a chocolate chip cookie. TY for this new one, and the comparison to Mr. Flay's. Now you'll HAVE to find that Jamie Oliver recipe! You totally teased us with it and we'll be waiting ... :)

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  9. A hearty congratulations to all 3 of you lovely lovely ladies!! Well deserved honors all around...

    Krista...dear heart, thank goodness that Chef Connor loves to bake and chocolate chip are his favorites!! I will breathe in deeply and go take a long walk to work off the calories!!! Needless to say I will be looking forward to Jamie Oliver's healthy take on them.


  10. It is SO cool that I now recognize all of you from Malice! Congrats to the winners, and thanks for the support you give us newbies!

  11. Cleo, you simply have to come and have fun with us one year -- soon!

    Nanc, I will be undertaking a major search for Mr. Oliver's chocolate chip cookies. I'm very curious!

    K.B., it was fun for us, too. So many people recognized us from Mystery Lover's Kitchen. I never expected that!

    ~ Krista