Showing posts with label A Brew to a Kill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A Brew to a Kill. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to make a Chocolate-Espresso Brownie Affogato and Happy Book News from Cleo Coyle





In Italian, affogato means drowned. 

In a cafe, an affogato is a dessert...one that coffee-lovers wouldn't mind drowning in!


If you order an affogato, a small bowl (or cup) of gelato or ice cream will be brought to you with a shot of fresh espresso beside it. 


To complete the affogato, you simply pour the hot espresso over the ice cream, drowning it in the earthy warmth of the coffee. This combination of sweet cream and dark heat is the heart of the dessert's appeal (at least to coffee-lovers...and Italians :)).



What I described is a basic affogato, but there are more elaborate variations. 

For example, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis once made a gingerbread affogato. She infused a simple syrup with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; and then poured the syrup over the ice cream with the espresso.

More common variations include a shot of liqueur served beside the shot of espresso (such as amaretto or Frangelico). Today, I'm sharing my "Coffeehouse" version, served over a base of warm-from-the-oven Chocolate-Espresso Brownies.

I'm also celebrating some happy news about my newly released Coffeehouse Mystery A Brew to a Kill. More on that news at the end of this post. 


First, let's get cooking! 

~ Cleo 



Cleo Coyle, a former Brownie
(and Girl Scout), is author
author of The Coffeehouse
Mysteries
Cleo's Coffeehouse
Chocolate-Walnut
Espresso Brownie Affogato

Warm brownies out of the oven are a little piece of heaven. Over the years, I've baked up plenty of pans from scratch and shared recipes with you. For example:

Aphrodisiac Brownies, from Murder by Mocha, (click here to see that recipe) and... 

Black Bean Brownies from A Brew to a Kill (click here to see that one).

Today, I'm sharing a quick-and-easy espresso brownie that you can whip up with a boxed mix. Why a mix? For those of you who don't bake much, this is an easy and foolproof way to bake a pan of brownies. Where did the recipe come from? Twenty years ago, brownie mixes had one flavor: chocolate. Being a coffee geek, I threw together this recipe, which infuses the earthy flavor of my favorite bean into the crumb. 

This recipe is adaptable to practically any boxed brownie mix. While you can now buy mocha brownie mixes, I find adding these fresh ingredients to a basic chocolate fudge mix produces better tasting espresso brownies. So give it a try and (as always) I sincerely hope you will...eat with joy! ~ Cleo 

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.



Ingredients

1 Box of Chocolate Brownie Mix (for a 9 x 13-inch pan)

1/4 cup espresso or strongly brewed coffee

1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder (*see my note at end of recipe)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


TO MAKE THE BROWNIES: Pour the dry brownie mix into a large bowl. Do not add water as directed on the package. Instead, pour the espresso or strongly brewed coffee into a cup and dissolve the espresso powder into it. Add the vanilla and pour this mixture into the large bowl with the dry brownie mix. The brownie mix directions will likely ask you to add 2 or 3 eggs (2 for fudge-like brownies, 3 for cake-like). Make your choice and add the eggs. Add the oil required (usually 1/2 cup). Stir as directed, 50 strokes, do not over-mix but be sure to scrape down the bowl and blend in any visible dry mix into the wet batter. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and (if you like) chopped nuts. Pour into a pan that's been lightly coated with non-stick spray or greased with butter. Bake as directed on the package and cut into squares. 






*A note on espresso powder: Espresso powder is not ground up espresso beans. It is made from freeze-dried espresso. It dissolves in water to create instant espresso. While I don't recommend drinking espresso made from freeze-dried powder, I highly recommend using good quality espresso powder (rather than freeze-dried instant coffee) to add coffee flavor to your baking and cooking. Look for espresso powder in the instant coffee section of your grocery store. Or click here to see brands that you can purchase online.

TO MAKE THE AFFOGATO: Place two warm brownies in a small bowl or one brownie in a coffee cup. Add a scoop of ice cream or gelato. Serve this with a shot of hot espresso or strongly brewed coffee. One shot = 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of liquid (or 2 to 3 tablespoons). The general rule for an affogato is one shot of coffee per scoop of ice cream. To finish, pour the hot coffee over the cold ice cream and warm brownie and...






Eat (and read) with joy! 
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.




Sweet News!



After a year on sale in
hardcover and e-book,
 A Brew to a Kill
is now an official
bestseller in paperback!



"A foodie's delight...And a
satisfyingly rich mystery."
~ Kirkus Reviews

A Brew to a Kill
#3 bestseller
in paperback mysteries
at B&N nationwide!


We also made B&N's Top-20*
(in store) bestsellers list for all
mass market paperbacks sold,
huzzah!


 *B&N Store Bestselllers
Aug. 20, 2013




The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bestseller #Giveaway A BREW TO A KILL + Chocolate Ricotta Muffins by Cleo Coyle




Today I'm celebrating another step in the publishing process with the release of A BREW TO A KILL in its mass market paperback format. (Huzzah!)

It's a beautiful edition with a foiled title, and for those readers who collect my Coffeehouse Mystery series in paperback, now is your chance to get it.



I'm at Fresh Fiction.com
this week with a giveaway...


Click here (or on the link below), comment on the Fresh Fiction post, and you are automatically entered to win an autographed copy of my hardcover mystery bestseller* in its new paperback edition. 

The winner of the book will also receive a fun Gimme Coffee Latte Cup, made in Italy, which you can sip from as you--


Read with joy...

(At least, I hope you will ~ Cheers!) 

~ Cleo

*Nielsen Bookscan



Jump to Fresh Fiction
and Enter my Giveaway by...



Low-Fat Chocolate
Ricotta Muffins

My readers might recall these light, chocolaty muffins, which are mentioned in A Brew to a Kill. As the story opens, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi hires a sweet-natured dietitian to help her lighten some of the higher calorie items on her menu.

When Lilly is brutally struck by a hit-and-run driver, Clare’s outrage propels her into tracking down the culprit; and once again, Clare is sleuthing her way in and out of trouble.

This recipe duplicates one of Lilly's coffeehouse menu makeovers. May you eat it with joy--and in good health!






To download a PDF 
document of this recipe
that you can print, save
or share... click here.







For new readers...
There are over 20 more recipes
featured in A Brew to a Kill.
For a quick, illustrated
look at them, click here
or on the image below...


Drink with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.






The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 

 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How to make Maple Bacon Breakfast Muffins from Scratch or Pancake Mix by Cleo Coyle


These delicious muffins deliver the taste of a pancake breakfast in one
bite, and today I'll share
 two ways to make them: from scratch or
with 
a pancake mix starter.

A Brew to a Kill
Learn more by
Culinary Inspiration

In the food truck wars of my latest Coffeehouse Mystery, A Brew to a Kill, a "cupcake queen" peddles a decadent buttercream-frosted maple bacon cupcake from her Vegas-worthy showboat of a Kupcake Kart. (I’ll be posting that recipe soon!) In the meantime, I give you the culinary counterpunch--a breakfast muffin worthy of being sold by my amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, on her competing Muffin Muse truck.

Roast Mortem
Learn more by
To create Clare’s recipe, I started with a good, basic maple muffin, using buttermilk for richness. Next I folded in caramelized bacon bits, made from a recipe that I first shared in my 9th Coffeehouse Mystery, Roast Mortem, a mystery that features arson (and firehouse recipes :)). I finished with a sprinkling of more candied bacon bits and a little, pre-bake drizzle of maple syrup. The result is an outstanding breakfast muffin that, in one bite, evokes the flavors of a classic pancake breakfast—bacon, maple-syrup, and a fluffy buttermilk flapjack. My husband (and partner in crime writing) flipped for these. I hope you do, too.


~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries





Cleo Coyle’s Maple Bacon 
Breakfast Muffins



To download a PDF version of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.



"From Scratch" Version


Makes 6 regular-size muffins (or 12 mini muffins) 

Ingredients:


Caramelized bacon bits consisting of…
  (6 slices of bacon, smoked or maple + 6 teaspoons of light brown sugar) 

1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt (if using table salt, use only a pinch) 
1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 
2 tablespoons canola oil 
1/3 cup + 1½ teaspoons pure maple syrup (not “pancake syrup," see note)*
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use light) 


*Note: “Pancake syrup” is not maple syrup. It consists of corn syrup flavored with maple extract. If you use pancake syrup instead of pure maple syrup in this recipe, be warned that your muffins will be dry. Use pure maple syrup for best results.

Directions:

Step 1 – Make caramelized bacon bits: First preheat oven to 375° F. Muffins need a very hot oven to rise properly, so give the oven a good 20 minutes of pre-heating.  Meanwhile, cut 6 slices of bacon into small pieces. (Tip: I use kitchen shears.) Sauté over medium-high heat until half-cooked—still soft and flexible with fat just beginning to change color. Drain fat. Add 2 tablespoons light brown sugar. Stir and continue stirring over heat until bacon bits are cooked through but still flexible (do not cook until crisp and brittle). Transfer bacon bits to a plate, break up any clumps into a single layer. Set aside to cool.



 Step 2 – One bowl mixing method: Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well blended. Make a well in the center. Add fork-beaten egg, measure in canola oil, buttermilk, and 1/3 cup of the maple syrup (you will use the final 1½ teaspoons from the ingredient list later). Whisk the batter until well blended, but do not over-mix or you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough instead of tender. The batter will be loose. Fold in the bacon bits, reserving enough to sprinkle over the muffin tops before baking in the next step.




Step 3 – Sprinkle and Drizzle: Coat 6 muffin cups and top of muffin pan with non-stick spray. If using paper liners, coat the papers as well as the top of the pan. Divide batter among the 6 sprayed or lined muffin cups. Sprinkle the reserved caramelized bacon bits over the top of each cup’s batter and drizzle a small amount (¼ teaspoon, no more) of maple syrup on top of the bacon bits and batter.



Step 4 – Bake: If baking standard muffins, check them in 15 minutes for doneness. If baking mini-muffins check them in 8 minutes. Muffins may need a few more minutes than stated, depending on your oven. They’re done when a toothpick inserted comes out with no wet batter clinging to it. 

NOTE: The maple syrup drizzle will cause the muffin tops to stick a bit to the pan. Simply use a butter knife to gently free it before removing muffins from cups. FYI - I use the toothpick method to remove baked muffins from their pans. Stick two toothpicks into the muffin from opposite ends and gently lift.
 


Pancake Mix 

Version

For fun, I included this “pancake mix” option for making the batter in this recipe. The difference between the “scratch” recipe and this one is mainly texture. The scratch version has a more cake-like crumb while the texture of the pancake mix version is more like a cornmeal muffin, but it’s very good too, and worth a try if you’re curious—and have some pancake mix handy in your pantry! ~ Cleo


Makes 6 regular-size muffins (or 12 mini muffins)

Ingredients:

Caramelized bacon bits consisting of… 
  6 slices of bacon, smoked or maple + 6 teaspoons of light brown sugar 
1-½ cup dry buttermilk flavor pancake mix (What brand? See my note below.) 
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 
2 Tablespoons canola oil 
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (and not “pancake syrup”) 
½ cup whole milk (1% or 2% will work; but do not use skim milk) 



*Note on pancake mix: Do not use Bisquick. Do not use a “just add water” mix. Use a mix that requires the addition of milk, eggs, and oil or melted butter. (I use Aunt Jemima Buttermilk flavor.) No matter what brand you choose, a buttermilk flavored mix will give you the best results. 


Directions: Follow the directions in the previous recipe with one exception. In Step 2, use this batter instead. Whisk together the pancake mix, brown sugar, baking powder, fork-beaten egg, oil, maple syrup, and milk until well blended. Do not over-mix. Fold in the caramelized bacon bits, reserving enough to decorate each muffin top before baking.
The batter will be loose. (Now move to Step 3 in the "from scratch" recipe.)









Yes, this is me - Cleo Coyle
Learn about my books here.

Friend me on Facebook here.
Follow me on Twitter here.
Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of


To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.



To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit
my online coffeehouse:
 
CoffeehouseMystery.com




The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 
 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Brew to a Kill named a Must-Read Mystery + Comment to Win an NYPD T-Shirt from Cleo Coyle



This is a comment-to-win week! 

Because the NYPD plays an important role in my Coffeehouse Mysteries, I'm giving away this NYPD Crime Scene Investigator T-shirtMore info at the end of this post. 

But first some happy news....



A Brew to a Kill 
named a
"Must-Read Mystery"
 of the Month at B&N

I recently learned that A Brew to a Kill was named a "must-read mystery" for the month of August by B&N's mystery book buyer Jules Herbert. Not that this is on par with finding a cure for cancer, but it's a nice little bit of caffeinated news, and I'm happy to share it with my readers. If you're among them, I want to thank you for helping this series even make it to book #11. Cheers!

     As for my recipe today, it's something I use to keep me awake at the keyboard during these dog days of summer. What is it? No, not coffee, but you're close. It's...

Coffee Milk. 


I know it sounds odd, but I assure you it is one delicious and revitalizing drink. It tastes like a tall, cold chocolate milkshake but with a deep, earthy dimension and a sweet little kick of caffeine.

I mentioned this drink in book five of my series, Decaffeinated Corpse, when I introduce a struggling fine arts painter named Dante Silva who goes to work for my amateur sleuth (Clare) in her coffeehouse. 
My recipe for Hong Kong-style egg custard
tarts 
can be found in the recipe section of
A Brew to a Kill
. For a look at the recipe
section's contents, click here.

Dante is a fairly minor character in many of my books. In my latest Coffeehouse Mystery, A Brew to a Kill (just released last week), he plays a much larger role. He even takes a trip to New York's Chinatown as a sidekick to my amateur sleuth as she follows a lead to a Cantonese bakery and a delicious, warm tray of egg custard tarts.

As it happens, Dante was born and raised in Rhode Island, a state which declared Coffee Milk its official drink. This little point of coffee trivia was brought up by the characters in Decaffeinated Corpse and that's how Coffee Milk ended up being included in the book.

So here is my recipe, along with a shout-out to reader Nancy P. who recently reminded me how much she enjoyed this drink after learning about it through the book. 

In these last, long days of summer, there's no cheap kick like a sweet, cold coffee drink...



Cleo Coyle's
Coffee Milk

Ingredients:

Ice cold milk
Coffee Syrup (recipe follows)

Directions: Pour Coffee Syrup into a glass of cold milk (about 2 tablespoons per 8 ounces or to your own taste). Stir and enjoy!

You can purchase Coffee Syrup from companies famous for making it like Rhode Island's Autocrat. Or you can make your own.

In the photo to the right, you'll notice what looks like a pancake syrup dispenser. But that's not maple syrup in there--it's coffee syrup! (What did you think? It is chez Coyle, after all.)

We love this easy-pour method of storing the coffee syrup. It's a convenient way to add it to milk or fortify hot coffee. Try splashing some into your own morning joe for an improvised red-eye. It's delicious, and my husband and I really do enjoy it. What follows is the recipe I use to make my homemade coffee syrup.


To print, save, or share both of these recipes in a single PDF document, click here. 




When the syrup thickens enough to coat the
back of a spoon, it's finished cooking.
Cleo Coyle's
Coffee Syrup

Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:


1 cup of ground coffee
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar


Step 1: Brew coffee (regular or decaf) in your drip maker at the ratio of 1 cup of ground coffee to 2 cups of cold water. Depending on your coffeemaker, your final yield will be a little over one cup of very strong coffee.

Step 2: Place all of this very strong coffee into a saucepan. Over medium heat, slowly stir in one cup of sugar. At no time should you allow this mixture to boil, which may give the coffee a bitter taste.

Step 3: Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly to help dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clearly simmering, continue cooking for about five minutes, stirring often and not allowing the syrup to boil. The mixture will thicken a bit as you cook it.

Step 4: When the syrup is done cooking, remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool. Coffee syrup can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator, for up to a month.



COMMENT TO WIN!

Leave a comment on this post
and you will be entered automatically to win
this NYPD Crime Scene Investigator T-shirt.

100% cotton, sizes S to XXL.
For more on the exact sizes, click here.
All profits go to the NYPD Police Museum.

Deadline to comment:
Monday 8/20


 1:00 AM (Eastern)

12:00 Midnight (Central)
11:00 PM (Mountain Time)
10:00 PM (Pacific)


Winner chosen by Random Number Generator
and announced on my blog Tuesday: 8/21




Yes, this is me - Cleo Coyle
Learn about my books here.

Friend me on Facebook here.
Follow me on Twitter here.
Good luck!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.


To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com



The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 
 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.