Showing posts with label white chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label white chocolate. Show all posts

Friday, January 2, 2015

Granola Cookies

by Sheila Connolly

Recently I visited my local supermarket and came upon a not-young couple offering free samples of their locally made granola. They were parked at a card table between the vegetable and fish sections, a rather unlikely place for any food giveaway, much less a breakfast/snack one, but at least they got a lot of foot traffic there. I’m not much of a cereal eater, much less granola, but as a writer who has spent a lot of time sitting in unlikely places doing book signings (or hoping to have anyone at all ask for a signing), I felt compelled to stop and chat. And taste, of course.

It was good stuff, I have to say. The couple operate their Golden Girl Granola business out of Carlisle, MA, their hometown, and started small, working in their kitchen and selling at local farmers’ markets. Now they have a commercial kitchen not far away, but they still hand-stir the granolas, and they make a range of flavors. My husband favored the “Creative Cranberry” while I opted for the “Forest Maple.” We bought one of each.

Our purchase came with a mini-cookbook, so of course I went straight for the desserts (although they did include some savory recipes), specifically cookies. I was going to make their Cranberry Cookies, but my husband ate all of that flavor before I could get around to baking, so I used the Forest Maple instead (which tastes very maple-y, not artificial), and threw in a few dried cranberries. It turned out to be a nice combination. In fact, the cookies are kind of addictive.

Maple (Cranberry) Granola Cookies

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups granola (whichever flavor you like)
1 cup white chocolate chips
(1 cup dried cranberries)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two baking sheets.

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and orange zest.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended.

Stir in the granola and white chocolate chips (and cranberries, if you’re using them).

Drop by spoonfuls onto the baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for a few minutes (if you try to remove them from the pan too soon, they fall apart). When cool enough to handle, remove the cookies to a rack and finish cooling.

Makes 3 dozen. Watch how quickly they disappear!

An Early Wake, arriving in one month! 

My protagonist Maura Donovan does not cook (hard to believe, isn't it?), but I'm thinking of sending her young employee Rose Sweeney to a local cooking school--there are some good ones in the area, and the local products are outstanding (believe me, I've sampled them).  

Do you think Rose should learn to cook?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Peppermint White Chocolate Popcorn AKA the Easiest Holiday Treat Ever!

We at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen are delighted to welcome guest Paige Shelton, who gives us a wonderful (and easy!) holiday treat!

Necessity being the mother of invention and all, this quick and easy treat was first whipped up one late afternoon after my husband mentioned that he’d offered to take something to a holiday party we were to attend about one hour later. Dropping by the grocery store on the way was an option, but I thought I’d give the pantry a quick look. The popcorn box fell as I opened the door, so I took it as a sign. Well, two signs – however, I ignored the “pantry needs cleaning out” sign.

I picked up the box, started rummaging around some more and gathered the peppermint extract. Then I got lucky and found two bars of white chocolate (I think holiday elves must have put them there to help me out – it is rare and unusual that I would have such a thing hanging around), and got to work.

The best popcorn for this recipe is the Homestyle variety, which means it has only a smattering of butter. No Movie Theater here. You can also pop it yourself in a popper or saucepan on the stove and leave out the butter, but I was in way too much of a hurry the first time I made it - microwaved had to do and it worked well. 

Pop two bags and dump the popcorn into a bowl. I add another ¼ or so teaspoon of salt because that salty/sweet combination is one of my favorites, and I really like to notice the salty part.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave per the melting instructions and then mix ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract into the melted goodness. Pour over the popcorn. It’s pretty important to try to pour evenly – don’t just dump it in and then toss. Try to stir the popcorn while pouring and then do some extra tossing. And, when you’re stirring and tossing, keep the utensils close to the bowl sides and bottom when you first go in – fewer broken pieces that way.

When I made it for the party, I just poured it into a bowl after coating it and took along. Even though the white chocolate hadn’t had time to solidify all the way it wasn’t gooey, and the popcorn was gobbled up quickly. Other times I’ve made it, I’ve spread it out on a baking sheet and let the coating harden up before serving it.  Additionally, I’ve tried adding little pieces of peppermint candy, but I like it better without the candy. It keeps the texture consistent.
See, easiest ever, huh?

Thanks to Mystery Lovers Kitchen for letting me drop by today. Hope everyone has a delicious and happy and safe holiday season.

Paige Shelton is the author of two mystery series. Her latest book and the fifth in her Farmers’ Market series MERRY MARKET MURDER is now available at bookstores and online everywhere. For more information on Paige or her books, visit

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Win on Independence Day!!!

Happy Independence Day! 

May you be enjoying the freedoms of our great country. Family. Friends. Good food. Fireworks.

To celebrate...

I read Jenn McKinlay’s RED VELVET REVENGE (and was asked to blurb it). It was such a fun read. 

It just launched yesterday!  In the book, she highlights cake pops.

For 40 years (or something like that), chocolate cake with white frosting has been by far my favorite cake. (Of course, I also love strawberry shortcake, white cake with chocolate icing...all sweets...) 

Now that I’m gluten-free, and inspired by Jenn’s delicious delights, I thought it would be a great idea to offer a gluten-free version of cake pops.  Enjoy the recipe.


    1 Betty Crocker super moist GLUTEN-FREE chocolate cake mix
    1/2-3/4 cup Cream Cheese frosting (gluten-free) (see below)
    1 (24 oz) package of white chocolate candy coating
    1/2 cup chocolate or colored sprinkles
    25-30 Lollipop sticks
One Styrofoam box or box of some sort to slot the cake pops into.

    Start by baking the Gluten-free chocolate cake mix by following the instructions on the package. While the cake is baking, MAKE the cream cheese frosting (recipe below). Set aside.  THEN place the sprinkles into a bowl. Set aside.
    Once your chocolate cake is fully baked and cooled (about 30 minutes to cool), crumble it entirely in a large bowl (plastic or metal) while adding 1/2-3/4 cup of cream cheese frosting. That’s right, crumble it. Mix it all together until thick. Once thick enough, start making round 1-2 inches cake balls. Place each of them on a large baking tray, which you will cover with plastic wrap and place in your fridge (overnight).
    The next day. Place all the white chocolate candy coating into a microwaveable bowl and follow the melting instructions. Next, dip the tip of a lollipop stick (about half a inch) into the chocolate candy coating and then insert it into a cake ball (about halfway). Repeat this operation for each cake ball.
    One cake ball or cake pop at a time, dip it entirely into the melted white chocolate coating. Use a spoon to fully cover each cake ball. Tap gently to remove any extra coating (if too much). Repeat this operation for each cake pop and set them balls up on a styrofoam box.

Immediately sprinkle the cocoa powder and sprinkles on the melted coating. Once done, place your cake pops into the fridge. Let them cool for about an hour. The only thing left to do now is to enjoy them!

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Blend all together until smooth.


BAKER'S NOTE:  These were so much fun to make that I wish I had a passel of little helpers!  Get your kids into the mix!! However...they were messy!  The warm chocolate dip was a little thick. Not sure if I should have thinned with a little water so the cake pops dipped easier. And because it's warm, rolling the balls immediately in sprinkles made the sprinkles sort of melt, so if you can bear it, wait a few minutes before rolling. I'm sure they'll stick.  Also, I froze half of the cake balls for use at a later time. I've eaten one since, plain, and it's yummy!


BY THE WAY, my protagonist from A Cheese Shop Mystery series, Charlotte Bessette, has taken over the blog at Killer Characters today. F-R-E-E-D-O-M!!  Chime in, won't you?  

AND LASTLY...I'm starting some mini-contests to promote THE COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERIES which come out one year from today!  

feature a cookbook store owner
who is an avid reader and admitted foodie - 
set in picturesque coastal California town!

The first contest runs this week until next week. Leave a comment on this MLK post with your favorite ADULT OR KIDS DESSERT COOKBOOK TITLE and you're entered to win a book of your choice from A CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY series and lots of fun swag, including the new COOKBOOK NOOK kitchen gripper. 


You can learn more about Avery by clicking this link.
Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!

You can learn more about Daryl, by clicking this link.

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
She doesn't say all the same things Avery does. Promise.

Say cheese!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies

I thought these cookies would make a nice transition from cookie week to Iron Chef cranberry week. I love cranberries, especially the burst of flavor they release when you bite into them. A lot of cookie recipes use dried cranberries, which are fine, but there's nothing quite like fresh cranberries, even in cookies.

1 stick butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 bar premium white chocolate (about 1.75 ounces) chopped into bits

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

2. Cream the butter with the sugar.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time.

4. Mix in the cinnamon, baking soda, and flour.

5. Add the vanilla and oats.

6. Stir in the cranberries and white chocolate.

7. Drop the dough onto the greased cookie sheet one tablespoon at a time. Don't worry about making them perfect. They melt into rounds.

8. Bake 14 - 15 minutes.


~ Krista