Showing posts with label Christmas recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas recipes. Show all posts

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Cookie fun with kids # Giveaway #recipe #Christmas #mystery


Around here, we're all in the mood for Christmas and we hope you are too.

We love Christmas cookies! It gives us an excuse to break out the festive cookie cutters and to get flour all over ourselves and the kitchen.  This year, MJ was lucky enough to have a young relative helping out.  You can see that Teagan did all the heavy lifting!

MJ here:  I picked the sugar cookies I remember from my own childhood.   I remember sugar sparkles on those cookies and so a quick trip yielded just what I needed.   I know red and green are favorite Christmas colors but Teagan and I decided that blue, white and silver were just right. 

Why don't you join us in the kitchen when we make these very easy Christmas sugar cookies?  We’d offer you one, but they were gone in a twinkle!

Christmas Sugar Cookies

 You will need:
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature, well beaten in a small bowl
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp good quality vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional - but we always do it!)

All you have to do:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy in stand mixer (or whatever works for you).  Add beaten eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, soda, and cream of tartar, mixing to blend.

Add dry mixture to wet and mix just until blended. Don’t overbeat.

If you have time, roll the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill the dough for 20 minutes before rolling out.  It is very soft.

Roll out on floured surface and roll with floured rolling pin until about ¼ inch think.  They will puff up slightly, so don’t roll too thick. 

Cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters.   

Teagan liked the trees best. MJ just couldn’t decide between stars and snowflakes.   

Transfer to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. They spread quite a bit so keep it to six per sheet, or they will run into each other.  I learned this the hard way and had to eat quite a few and then start again. Ahem. Dust each cookie with a bit of colored course sugar.

Bake 10 minutes. Remove and cool.  Makes about two dozen. Guard them well, because they have a tendency to disappear.

Of course you know that Victoria Abbott is a dangerous combo of Mary Jane Maffini and her daughter, Victoria.  When not busy being elves, they write the book collector mysteries, with a bit of help from Peachy the Pug. 

We all hope you all have a wonderful December full of sweet tastes and warm moments and entertaining books.  So from our family to yours, have the best of festive seasons, whatever you celebrate. 

Speaking of, why not tell us about how, what or if you celebrate and your name may be drawn to receive a copy of the book collector mystery of your choice!  If you have them all, we'll still find a deal for you.   Because it's that season!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Little Eggnog Crumb Cakes from Cleo Coyle

Marc and I always look forward to the flavors of the holiday season, including (and especially) eggnog. Tender and rich, these little cakes magically capture the rich and beautiful flavor of eggnog. They are superb paired with coffee, which makes them a lovely breakfast treat, a satisfying afternoon snack, and even a delight on dessert and party trays, especially during these December holidays. 

Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah (which begins at sundown this evening) or Christmas, which is fast on its way, we wish you peace, love, joy...and happy feasting! ~ Cleo 

Now let's start baking...

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

A Note from Cleo

Our readers may remember a version of this recipe from our Coffeehouse Mystery Holiday Buzz, a fun and festive read for the holiday season. Our amateur sleuth (coffeehouse manger Clare) finds a body after catering a glittering Christmas party and is quickly pulled into a case that once again puts her on the path to solving more than one New York mystery. 

To see more of the recipes we featured in Holiday Buzz, click here for the Free Recipe Guide.

To learn more
or download the Free
Recipe Guide, click here.
As for these little cakes, they are delicious and addictive. Frankly, Marc and I find it hard to stop eating them. In this version of the recipe, you may notice I use the crumb mixture in two layers. The top layer, of course, creates a crunchy, sweet streusel. The layer in the center is there for another reason--and not striation. Instead, it magically melts into the batter, keeping the cupcake crumb extra-moist during the high-heat baking (which is necessary for the proper rise). The nutmeg in the crumb mixture also boosts the flavor, both inside and on top of the little cakes. 

Now let's get to it: festive cupcakes for the feasting season. May you bake with love and eat with joy to the world! 

☕ ~ Cleo Coyle, author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries


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

Click here for the
Free Recipe PDF

Cleo Coyle's Little 
Eggnog Crumb Cakes

Makes 6 cupcakes 

For the crumb topping

1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of baking powder
2-1/2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the cupcakes

5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup white, granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten with fork
1/3 cup eggnog
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, spoon into cup and level off

Step 1—Make crumb topping: First preheat your oven to 375° F. Make the crumb topping. (See directions at the end of this recipe.) Set the crumb topping into the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the batter.

Step 2—Mix batter: Using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter and two sugars in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg, eggnog, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla extract, and blend well. Finally, add the flour and mix only until a smooth, thick batter forms. (The flour should be completely incorporated into the batter, but do not over-mix at this stage or you'll develop the gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough instead of tender.) 

Step 3—Prep for baking: Line 6 cups of a non-stick cupcake pan with paper liners. Place a dollop of the thick batter into each cup...

Sprinkle a light layer of crumb topping over each of the dollops. (This interior layer of crumb mixture will melt into the cakes, keeping them moist during the high-heat baking.)

Add the rest of the batter, dividing evenly among the 6 cups. Top the batter with the all of the remaining crumb mixture. 

Step 4—Bake and cool: Bake for 20 minutes in your well-pre-heated 375° F. oven. Do not over-bake. The crumb cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into a test cake comes out clean of wet batter. Like all cookies and cakes, these Little Eggnog Cakes are delicate when hot and will fall apart if roughly handled. So please do allow them to cool a bit before handling and serving, and they’ll set up just fine. Then start that pot of coffee and get ready to eat with pure joy!

How to Make Crumb Topping

Crumb topping is easy to make with or without a food processor. I'm sharing both methods below...

To prepare with a food processor: 

Place all “crumb topping” ingredients inside the food processor and pulse until you see coarse crumbs. Take care not to over-work the mixture. You do not want chunks of wet dough, just coarse crumbs. NOTE: If you over-process the topping into dough, all is not lost. You can correct the mistake by adding flour 1 tablespoon at time and pulsing until you see crumbs. Now set the crumb topping into the refrigerator to chill while you make the batter. FYI: You can store the finished crumb topping in a plastic container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

To mix by hand: 

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, nutmeg and pinch of baking powder. Add the cubes of cold butter and using clean fingers squeeze and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture turns into coarse crumbs. Any large lumps should be worked on until the mixture resembles the coarse crumbs in my photos. NOTE: If you over-work the topping into dough, all is not lost. You can correct the mistake by working in more flour, 1 tablespoon at time, until you see crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill while you make the batter. FYI: You can store the finished crumb topping in a plastic container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

Click here for the
Free Recipe PDF

Happy Holidays, 

☕ ☕ ☕

Eat with joy to the world!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

Learn more about us here.
Friend us on facebook here.
Follow us on twitter here.
Visit our online coffeehouse here.

🎄   🎄 

Holiday BuzzA Coffeehouse 
Holiday Mystery!

To buy now, click links for... 

With Recipes for
Holiday Cookies and
Festive food and drinks...

To learn more about
the book, click here

☕  ☕  ☕



Find out by watching our fun, 
new Book Video (below) 
or view it on Facebook 

Our newest Coffeehouse Mystery is
now a bestseller in hardcover!

Top 10 Best Mysteries
for Book Clubs 2017

A "Most Wanted"
Mystery Guild Selection

To buy now, click links for... 


This culinary mystery includes
more than 25 delicious recipes!
To get the Free Recipe Guide, 


☕ ☕ ☕

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


See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!

🔎 🔎 🔎

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

To get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

To learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost...



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