Showing posts with label Espresso Shot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Espresso Shot. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Caramel Apple Dip ... seriously?

First off – Big Woo-Hoo shout out to Cleo. Wow!! Espresso Shot hit #3 nationwide! That’s huge!
And well deserved. Congrats, Cleo! I plan to help celebrate by placing Espresso Shot at the top of my TBR pile (which I can’t get to until January at the earliest), and ordering Holiday Grind!

OUR NEW CONTEST: Win a $25 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card! For details on how to enter, simply scroll down and see our contest announcement...

Apples and Halloween just go together so well, don't they? When my husband buys Affy Tapple packages and sets them on the countertop, I know I'm sunk. Can't help myself. Those beauties call my name -- even from other rooms. Healthy? Not so much, except for the apples. Delicious? Oh yeah.

Some time back my eldest daughter told me about a recipe her boyfriend's mother shared with her (Hi, Bonnie!) that I had never heard of before. Talking with friends, it seems an even split. Some people have heard of this, but many, around here at least, have not.

Once I heard how easy this was supposed to be, I knew I had to give it a try. Maybe this is old hat for you, but it's completely new to me.

Halloween is full of scary things, right? Well, the prospect of an exploding can had me terrified, but I promise, everything worked out just great.

Caramel Apple Dip

Take one can (about 14 oz) of Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk) and remove the label. Place the can in a deep dutch oven and cover with water. Turn heat on high until water is boiling.

~ You're starting to see why I was skeptical, right?

Boil for 3 -4 hours, making sure the water level never drops below the top of the can (if it does, this is where you run the risk of the can exploding). Add water as necessary to keep levels high.
After 4 hours, remove can from water with tongs, place in fridge to cool.

Open can and you should have some creamy caramel.
Slice apples, chop nuts... serve...
And happy dipping!

In our family we like to point and say, "Isn't this delicious, dip?" That's one of those jokes that was old ten years ago, but we refuse to let die...


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Friday, October 23, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Mocha-Dipped Rum Macaroons (with video!)

My recipe today was inspired by one of my favorite Halloween candies.
But first I have a quick, happy announcement...

Espresso Shot is
#3 in Mystery Nationwide!
My editor just informed me that Espresso Shot hit the #3 position on Barnes and Noble's paperback mystery bestseller list. As we sophisticated mystery writers like to say on such occasions: "Wee-haa!!!" The book is also ranked #31 on B&N's overall fiction list (Wee-haa! x2).

For anyone new to this blog,
Espresso Shot is my
7th Coffeehouse Mystery.
You can read
more about

Espresso Shot,
including a
free excerpt by
clicking here.

Needless to say, there will be much rejoicing and dinking of coffee in the Coyle household this weekend. This weekend also marks the one week countdown to one of my favorite holidays: Halloween! And thoughts of that holiday actually inspired this recipe...

Cleo's Mocha-Dipped Rum Macaroons

(with video!)

Do you have a favorite trick or treat candy? After hours trekking our chilly, dark, “haunted” neighborhood in Southwestern Pennsylvania, my sister and I loved upending our pillow cases and dumping our sweet loot out on the living room floor. Sorting and ranking would follow.

Clark Bars were popular when I was growing up (no surprise since they were made in nearby Pittsburgh), but I didn’t really like them much (so I ranked them as a "dud" candy). Baby Ruths, Peanut M&Ms, and Mallow Cups (remember those?!) were big winners, and I especially loved Almond Joys and Mounds bars.

Did you rank your candy, too?! My husband said Clark bars were not a dud for him. He loved them! His dud candy was Good & Penty. (Woops, dating ourselves!)

Given my Almond Joy and Mounds addictions, I still think coconut and chocolate are a superior combo. My little macaroon recipe for you today includes both of those flavors along with the more mature flavor notes of rum and coffee. I especially like drenching those little coconut haystacks in mocha glaze, which really dresses them up for the dessert plate of anything from an elegant dinner party to a simple family supper (at least it does at chez Coyle, lol).

These cookies also pair extremely well with a hot, fresh pot of French roast or a demitasse of espresso.

In fact, "espresso with rum" is such a classic combo I included it in the Recipes and Tips section of my upcoming release, Holiday Grind, along with "espresso coconut-rum" and 80 pages of other coffee and non-coffee holiday recipes.

(You can read more about my 8th Coffeehouse Mystery, Holiday Grind, and read brief summaries of the rest of the books in my series by clicking here.)

Back to the cookies! Today's recipe gives you two ways to make my Mocha-Dipped Rum Macaroons. The first is with rum extract and the second is with real rum (dark not light).

While the rum extract is quicker and easier and does give you a nice flavor, I do think the real rum version is well worth making. The flavor is truly amazing, especially when paired with coffee.

The real rum version also gives your cookie a moister inside--another bonus because the trademark of a truly great coconut macaroon is a crispy exterior and a soft, chewy, moist center.

So here without further ado is my recipe of the week. (Just click the link below and the recipe will appear in PDF format)…

To get Cleo Coyle's recipe for...
Mocha-Dipped Rum Macaroons

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


Once again, in my ongoing bid for
this year's Academy Award, I give you (below) the
happy 50's homemaker version of a helpful how-to
foodie video

(And, kids, if you try this at home,
don't foget the retro music!)

To see video,
click the play arrow in the lower left
of the frame above...

Until next time
~Cleo Coyle
"Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."

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..."

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