Showing posts with label Bakeshop Mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bakeshop Mysteries. Show all posts

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Welcome guest author Ellie Alexander! + book #giveaway

She's offering a giveaway below! Take it away, Ellie!

Thanks for having me on as a guest again. Spring is the season of romance and in the next installment of my Bakeshop Mysteries, TILL DEATH DO US TART, (which comes out June 26) love is in the air. No spoilers, but wedding bells are ringing, and Torte (the popular, artisan bakeshop in Ashland, Oregon) is buzzing with excitement. Jules and her team are carefully crafting magnificent almond tarts with layers of silky French buttercream and fresh raspberry preserves. They’re making dainty chocolate hazelnut tea-cakes, and filling dozens upon dozens of mini cream pies. It’s a blur of baking madness in Torte’s cheery kitchen as the wedding nears.

When I was working on this book I had so much fun—perhaps too much fun—researching new and inventive ideas for weddings. One modern tradition that I stumbled upon was creating a kid zone for younger wedding guests. This includes a buffet table with kid-friendly foods like carrots sticks with ranch dip and cheeseburger sliders and French fries, along with party favors like bubbles and glow wands. I love the thought of incorporating little touches and making kids feel like they’re a special part of the event. Isn’t that the goal of a wedding? Bringing friends, family, and generations together in a celebration of love.

Speaking of love, I fell in love with the idea of surprise cupcakes as a dessert option for a kids’ buffet. Of course, you don’t need to host a wedding or even a party to make these delightful and delicious treats. They are great anytime, and I guarantee that adults will devour them just as quickly as any youngsters in your life.

Happy baking!


Torte―the small-town bakeshop no one can resist―is hosting a midsummer night’s wedding . . . where merry-making and murder are served up in equal measure.

Jules Capshaw has too much on her plate―and she’s feeling the pinch: the whole town of Ashland, Oregon, is in on the surprise Elizabethan-themed wedding she’s planning for her mom and soon-to-be stepdad. But is her secret scheme half-baked? She’s hiding racks overflowing with sweet treats while Torte is topsy-turvy with a major remodel and the return of Jules’s estranged husband, Carlos. And until now, Jules had no clue about the bitter family feud that has her friend Lance frazzled and suspicious.

But when a party crasher takes someone out with a serving of poisoned wine and Jules discovers the deadly cup was intended for her, it’s time to turn the tables on a killer.

Torte’s Surprise Cupcakes
½ cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons vinegar

For surprise filling:


Mini chocolate chips

Lemon curd

Raspberry or strawberry jam


Mini candies


Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together. Add in vanilla and almond extracts. Mix flour and salt in a separate bowl. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk. Fold in baking soda and vinegar last. Bake in cupcake tins at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes. Allow to cool. Once completely cool, cut a half-inch hole in the center of the cupcake. Do not discard the cupcake holes. Fill cupcakes with your choice of surprises—get creative. Gently press the cutout portion of the cupcake into the hole and then cover with frosting.



1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons flour

1 cup water


Heat flour and water in a saucepan on medium high. Be sure to continually whisk the mixture as it begins to thicken. Once the paste is opaque, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer. Add in cooled flour and water paste and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.


I'd love to give away a copy of ANOTHER ONE BITES THE CRUST to one commenter. Tell me,
have you ever attended a wedding where there were lots of children? What did the wedding planner do to wrangle them? Remember to leave your email (cryptically if necessary) so I can contact you.

Ellie Alexander (also known as Kate Dyer-Seeley) is a Pacific Northwest native. Her love for the Pacific Northwest runs deep. Hence why all of her books (whether she’s writing as Ellie or Kate) are set here. From the Shakespearean hamlet of Ashland, Oregon to the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington to the hipster mecca of Portland, Oregon and a variety of stunning outdoor locales, the Pacific Northwest is a backdrop for every book and almost becomes another character in each series.

When not writing, you can find her testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouse or brewpubs nearby. You’ll also find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of “research”.

Ellie (Kate) loves hearing from readers and interacting on social media. Be sure to follow her to learn about her writing process, upcoming books, special events, giveaways, and more!

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Ellie Alexander's Asian Noodle Salad, and a #bookgiveaway!

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: We LOVE Sundays, when other authors visit the Kitchen to share their tales and recipes. Today's guest, Ellie Alexander, has a new Bakeshop Mystery coming out later this month, and she's celebrating with a recipe and a giveaway! Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of A Crime of Passion Fruit AND some tropical baking treats!  

ELLIE ALEXANDER: Thanks so much for having me on today! Here in the Pacific Northwest the sun is finally out after a record-breaking winter of rain, rain, and more rain. I spent many water-logged months dreaming of sandy beaches, salty blue waters, and tropical recipes for the latest culinary adventure in the Bakeshop Mysteries, A Crime of Passion Fruit. In this book, Jules is setting sail for a week in the Caribbean where she’ll be whipping up mango tarts, pineapple flambés, and dainty citrus cakes. I’m thrilled to get share her recipe for Asian Noodle Salad. This pasta is easy to make and perfect for a summer picnic or dining al fresco in your backyard. Three cheers for summer and the return of the sun!

Asian Noodle Salad

For the salad:
8 ounces of spaghetti—boiled and cooled
½ of purple cabbage—chopped
½ of Napa cabbage--chopped
2 cups of bean sprouts
1 8 oz. bag of fine-cut carrots
1 bunch of cilantro—chopped
2 cups peanuts
2 cups of diced chicken breast, cooked and cooled

For the sauce: 
¼ cup sesame oil
½ cup peanut oil
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
½ cup of rice wine vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic--chopped

Start a pot of water boiling for the pasta. 

In a separate pan, add a healthy glug of sesame oil. If you want to add a little heat to the chicken I recommend using spicy sesame oil. Then add thinly sliced chicken breasts to the pan and sauté on both sides for five minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool. 

Once water has come to a boil, add spaghetti and cook to al dente. I use veggie pasta to sneak in another serving of vegetables, but any spaghetti will work.

Next halve the heads of cabbage and chop. Add to a large mixing bowl. If you can find julienned carrots, simply pop open the bag and add to cabbage. If your local grocery store doesn’t sell the carrots pre-sliced, then simply grate or finely chop whole carrots. Add in bean sprouts and chopped cilantro. Note—I use the same cutting board for the chopping process. Everything is going to end up tossed together so there’s no need to clean as you go. 

Mix veggies together with cooled chicken, peanuts, and noodles.

In a separate bowl, begin making the sauce. First dice two cloves of garlic. Next whisk in oils, teriyaki sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar.

Pour over the salad and stir with tongs. Top with chopped cilantro, peanuts, and a quarter of a lime.

Serve cold.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of A Crime of Passion Fruit, along with some tropical baking treats. (US addresses only, please.) Contest open through Monday, June 5

Ellie Alexander writes the Bakeshop Mystery series for St. Martin’s Press, set in the Shakespearean town of Ashland, Oregon and featuring a romantic, artisan pastry chef, Juliet Montague Capshaw.
Ellie is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

You can find her online at her websiteon Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ellie Alexander's Molasses Chocolate Crinkles

We are so happy to welcome Ellie Alexander, whose new book, Caught Bread Handed (the fourth in her Bakeshop Mystery series), has just been released. Since she comes bearing cookies--with chocolate, no less--we're glad to have her here!

Thanks so much for having me on today! I’m excited to share a favorite family recipe for Molasses Chocolate Crinkles. My mom used to make these for after school treats when I was growing up and I love getting to continue the tradition with my family now. Not to mention the heavenly smell of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves filling my kitchen. 

Baking is always a nice respite from my own head, especially when I’m working on a new book. Often I’ll take a break in the afternoon and spend a couple of hours in the kitchen testing recipes. I can totally lose myself in the process of baking, and sometimes I have the best insights on characters or plot points when I’m up to my elbows in dough. However I don’t always have a ton of time between writing, hurrying to pick up my kiddo at school, and trying to get dinner on the table. One of the best things about these cookies is that they are quick and easy to bake. You can whip them out in the same amount of time it takes to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, but these have a sweet and spicy taste thanks to the molasses and healthy amounts of chocolate chips which make them feel like an extra special treat.

I mean what’s not to love about molasses and chocolate? It’s like combining two of my favorite cookies in one! Plus, I promise that your kitchen will smell divine when you slide a batch of these beauties into the oven.

I hope you’ll give the recipe a try. Post a comment below with your favorite easy bake. Be sure to include your email as one lucky commenter will receive a signed copy of Caught Bread Handed plus an assortment of sweet teas and gourmet lemonade.

Happy reading and baking!


Molasses Chocolate Crinkles


2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 package chocolate chips
1/2 cup granulated sugar in extra bowl


Cream butter, sugar and molasses together. Add egg. Then slowly incorporate dry ingredients and spices. 

Once batter is firm add chocolate chips and chill in the refrigerator for one hour. 

Spoon batter into 1-inch balls and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Immediately roll in granulated sugar when cookies are hot from the oven.

Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

You can find her online at:




About Caught Bread Handed

Welcome to Torte―a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…

Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.

When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading―with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent―for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?