Showing posts with label breakfast cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakfast cake. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bars and #CozyMystery #Audiobook #Giveaway from Cleo Coyle

In honor of National Banana Bread Day (no kidding), my husband and I  are sharing a fantastic banana bar recipe that we published in our 13th Coffeehouse Mystery.
Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband. 
Learn about their books 
by clicking here and here.

Two layers of flavor and texture make these bars an outstanding treat. A soft banana cake layer floats over a rich, brownie-like base laced with chocolate chips.

It sounds complicated, yet it's very easy to make, and a perfect snack for afternoon coffee breaks or late-night noshing. These beautiful bars make a great home-baked gift for friends and family, too.

Now let's start baking!

~ Cleo

This giveaway is now over.
Congrats to our winner,
Melissa Nunez!

And don't miss the fun, new contests
coming up in our next
Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter.
To sign up,
click here.

Cleo Coyle's 
Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bars

"Lovin' from the oven" is how coffee hunter Matt Allegro described these fresh-baked squares in one of our most popular Coffeehouse Mysteries, Billionaire Blend. And Matt was right. 
You'll notice we put a bit of earthy espresso powder in our chocolate bottom layer. Yes, we’re coffee fiends, but here’s the truth. You won’t taste coffee, only a more powerful note of chocolate. As bakers know, espresso powder is a way to deepen the flavor of chocolate in recipes.

These bars pair beautifully with coffee, espresso, and strong black teas.

May you bake them with love and eat with joy!

~ Cleo

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

Yield: 16 squares (one 9‑inch-square pan)


2 cups mashed ripe* bananas (about 4 to 6 depending on size)

*See my note at the end of this recipe to ripen bananas in the oven

1/4 cup sour cream 

3/4 cup canola oil (or cold-pressed coconut oil, melt before measuring) 

1/2 cup light brown sugar 

1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1½ teaspoons baking powder 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon table salt or finely ground sea salt 

1½ cups all-purpose flour 

1/4 cup baking cocoa 

1/2 teaspoon espresso powder 

1/2 cup chocolate chips 

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Step 1—Prep oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 9‑inch-square pan with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang over the side like handles. You’ll use those handles to easily lift the baked banana bar slab out of the pan. Coat paper lightly with non-stick spray. Set aside. 

Step 2—Make batter: Combine your 2 cups of mashed bananas and sour cream with a fork. Add the oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fork-whisk well (or use an electric mixer) to blend until smooth. Now add your flour and mix until a lumpy batter forms, but do not over-mix at this stage.

Step 3—Create chocolate bottom: Remove 1 cup batter and place it into a separate bowl. Add cocoa and espresso powder, fork-whisking until the batter is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips, and (optional) chopped walnuts.

Step 4—Assemble and bake: Spread the chocolate batter across the entire bottom of the prepared pan. Take your time, using the back of a spoon to spread the batter all the way into the corners. Be sure the layer is even. Now pour your remaining banana batter on top and once again use the back of a spoon to even out the layer (otherwise your bars will bake up lopsided). Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


TO RIPEN BANANAS FAST: Place yellow bananas on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes, turning once. Bananas will blacken. Peel right away (be careful, they’re hot!) and cool flesh in fridge before mashing.
P h o t o s

Click here to download a free PDF
of this recipe that you can print,
save, or share.
Click here to download the PDF.

Stay Cozy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on Facebook here. * Follow me on Twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Our newest mystery is now
a bestselling hardcover!

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N

Dead to the Last Drop

A "Most Wanted" Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor Fall "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Lists

Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

*  *  *

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling works 

of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark 
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each 
of the 15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes.

(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the books and meet 

Jack Shepard, our PI ghost by clicking here.



This Giveaway is Now Over!
Congrats to our winner,

Melissa Nunez!

My husband Marc and I are hard at work on our 16th Coffeehouse Mystery, scheduled for release this December. In the meantime, many of you have read our 15th title, Dead to the Last Drop, an exciting installment set in Washington, DC, now a bestseller in hardcover. 

Today we're giving away an autographed audio version of the book in a beautiful keeper CD format. 

TO ENTER, leave a comment on this blog post with your e-mail address (or another way to contact you, for example, you can let me know if  you are my friend on Facebook and I can get in touch that way, and feel free to Friend me if you aren't!)...

Now a bestseller in hardcover
and a "Most Wanted"
Mystery Guild Selection.

To learn more
about the book, click here.

This giveaway is now over.
Congrats to our winner,
Melissa Nunez!

Thanks to Blackstone Audio and
Penguin Random House
for sending us extra copies.

Good luck and may you
read (and listen) with joy! 
~ Cleo

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Orange Chocolate Marble Coffee Cake - Gluten Free Recipe

I just went on vacation. Boy, I had no idea how much I needed the time away. I literally unplugged myself from email and the Internet. I didn’t write one word while I was away. I concentrated on my husband and my family. Our kids. Their kids. 

We played; we laughed. 

We sought out Mickey Mouse and my favorite, Tigger, for pictures. I breathed and breathed some more. It was a fun time!!!

Tigger at Disney
Tigger from Final Sentence - see the similarity??

However, whenever I go away, I realize how hard it is for me to get good--I’m talking good—gluten-free bread-type items. Muffins, scones - blech. At dinner they served Parker-style rolls, but they were so-so. Sandwiches are out. Pre-made gluten-free sliced bread can simply be hard and inedible. It’s not bad toasted, but it doesn’t make a good “cold” sandwich. So I only ate proteins, veggies, and fruits, and though I know that’s the best way for me to eat, I returned home CRAVING some goodies.

There’s nothing like a sweet muffin or cake to round out my morning or afternoon. A tasty snack perks me up, and I seem to write better. Okay, I don’t write “great” pages because of the snack, but for some reason, I’m more prolific after a tasty morsel. [That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!]

So here’s one of my favorite go-to recipes for a chocolate marblized pound cake, which I make in a Bundt pan.

Note: If you want to make regular cake (not gluten-free), just substitute the GF flours in the recipe with regular flour and omit the xanthan gum. You can also use real vanilla. J


Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Marble Cake


3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 ¼ sticks (which equals 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted butter)
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 egg whites
2 2/3 cup gluten-free flours (*I used mixture of sweet rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch)
1 t. xanthan gum
1 t. gluten-free baking powder
¾ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 cup milk
1 t. lemon juice (may use vinegar)
2 t. vanillin
1 tablespoon grated orange rind


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and chocolate in microwave. Do not let overcook.  Cool.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and mix until light. 

In a small bowl, mix flours, baking powder, ½ t. of the baking soda, and the salt. 

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Add milk and lemon juice.  Stir in vanillin.

Divide mixture between two bowls.  In one bowl, stir in the orange rind.  In the other bowl, stir in the chocolate mixture, the remaining ¼ t. baking soda, and ¼ cup water.

Layer the two mixtures into a Bundt cake pan.  Rap pan to remove bubbles.  

Cut through with knife to make a floral pattern with the chocolate.

Bake 350 degrees oven for 55 minutes.  LET CAKE COOL IN PAN 10-20 MINUTES.  Then turn out.  May be dusted with powdered sugar.

Lesson brought home from vacation: Remember to breathe!!!
  * * * * * * *

The first book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series is out!!

You can order the book HERE.

It's set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California and features Jenna Hart, a former advertising exec who returns home to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and café.

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is out, too! 
You can order the book HERE. 

Next up: DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT preorder here
INHERIT THE WORD, available soon!

You can learn more about Daryl by clicking this LINK. "Like" my page on Facebook and "follow" me on TwitterAnd if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! You can also follow and "like" Avery Aames the same way:  Facebook and Twitter

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Picnic Time!

Starting this Friday, you'll see some changes here.  We're so sorry to see Julie Hyzy leave, but we know you'll enjoy Ellery Adams, our newest addition to Mystery Lover's Kitchen!  Sheila Connolly and Mary Jane Maffini will be posting on alternate Fridays from now on.  Wendy Watson will continue to post vegetarian delights on Saturdays, but every second Saturday of the month will be pie day with Ellery Adams! 

For once, I'm writing about a season during the same season.  I had Halloween decorations up in the summer when I was working on THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE.  Fortunately, this time around, I'm writing about picnics and outdoor living during the summer.

I've been enjoying all the wonderful fruit the season has to offer, but I'm working some long hours, and chocolate has been calling my name, so I put together a chocolate coffee cake.  The perfect thing with a cup of coffee or tea during a writing break.  Even better, it's an ideal treat to take along on a picnic or a boating excursion, because it's not messy and doesn't require a fork.  Bake it a day in advance so you won't be rushed on picnic day.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
2/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup mild flavored oil (olive or canola)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
(optional additional 1/2 cup chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter an 8x8 baking pan.  For easy removal, you might want to place parchment paper in the bottom or dust the bottom with flour.

Cream the butter with the sugars.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Add the baking powder.  Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, adding milk and oil in between. Add the vanilla.  Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Bake 45 - 50 minutes.
Cool on a rack.  Run a knife around the edges twice and turn out.  If desired, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips and drizzle over the top.