Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Coffeehouse Mysteries Go Audio! And Chocolate Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies to Kill For from Cleo Coyle

I have a delicious coffeehouse-style cookie for you today, along with two pieces of exciting news. New Jersey Family magazine actually picked up this recipe for their magazine. (Click here to see.) 

My other piece of news? Well, for going on eight years now, my reader have asked me when the Coffeehouse Mysteries would be available in audio. Finally, I have an answer...

Cleo Coyle, author of the
Coffeehouse Mysteries, can now
listen to her own books.
On What Grounds, the first book in my series was just released by the very nice people at AudioGo (BBC Audiobooks America). They also produced my newest Coffeehouse Mystery, Murder by Mocha

Full of action, humor, romance, and recipes, Murder by Mocha can be read as a stand-alone book. If you're new to my series, no worries. You can pick up the story just fine without reading the previous titles.

To learn more about these audio books and hear samples, click here and jump to's product page for Cleo Coyle. The books are even on iTunes! W00T!

If you prefer physical books or e-books, both are published by Penguin. Jump to the Nook store at Barnes and Noble by clicking here, Mocha's Amazon page here, or visit your favorite bookseller or e-book store.

Honestly, I could not be more pleased with these audio productions. The reader is Rebecca Gibel, a talented stage actress with a true gift for voices and accents

Click here to
view the
book trailer
For those of you not familiar with my Coffeehouse books, they are murder mysteries set in the picturesque historic section of Greenwich Village. Each book is narrated by Clare Cosi, a single mom with a passion for serving coffee and solving crimes. She manages the coffeehouse while also trying to manage her somewhat complicated love life.

Readers have described the books as Murder She Wrote meets Starbucks (accurate enough) or even "a cozy series with an edge," also accurate. I often use the term "urban cozy," which I'd define as a traditional mystery with a contemporary feel that's set in a major metro area. (Click the filmstrip to see the series' book trailer.) To visit the About the Books page of my website, click here.

And now... 

Let's eat! 
(at least with your eyes)

These coffeehouse-sized peanut butter cookies are sweet, tender, and stuffed with enough ooey-gooey melted chips to make a chocolate lover swoon. 

Readers of my Coffeehouse title, Murder by Mocha, will remember this cookie as one Clare baked up especially for Sergeant Franco in thanks for a little armed backup at the International Confectioners' trade show. Why did Clare need backup at a chocolate and candy expo? You'll find the answer in my new culinary mystery. Read with joy! ~ Cleo 

Cleo Coyle's
Peanut Butter Cookies

Click here to download Cleo's special recipe PDF that you can print, save, or share. 

Makes 18–20 big, stuffed cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1¼ cups peanut butter (standard creamy, do not use sugarless)
1 cup granulated sugar plus ½ cup, for dusting
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup good quality semisweet chocolate chips 

Step 1—Make the dough: Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugars in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and blend well. Fi­nally, add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix only enough until a soft dough forms.
Step 2—Form and stuff: Pinch off generous pieces of dough and roll into big, golf-ball-sized rounds. Cradle the cookie ball in one hand. Use the thumb of your opposite hand to make a deep indentation in the center of each cookie ball. Fill the hole with about a teaspoon of chocolate chips and then seal the chocolate inside the dough ball. Gently roll the balls in white, granulated sugar for a fin­ished look.

Step 3—Freeze: Place the cookie balls on a wax-paper-covered plate in the freezer for 30 minutes. (The wax paper will prevent the dough from adhering to the plate.) This freezing step is the key to a successful cookie. If you don’t freeze the cookie dough before baking, the cookie may break while baking and the chocolate may ooze out instead of staying in the center of the cookie. (If you plan to freeze the dough longer than 30 minutes, wrap it in plastic and foil to prevent freezer burn.)

Step 4—Bake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chilled cookie balls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, keeping the balls a few inches apart to allow for spreading. Bake them for 20–30 minutes. The cookies are not done until they flatten out, so be patient and wait for this to happen. The chocolate should stay inside. A nice “cover” for a cookie with oozing chocolate is to gently dust with confectioners’ sugar....

Yes, a bit of sweetness often rescues the day—and the cookie.

Note: When making cookies, always allow your baking sheets to cool before putting more dough on them. A hot baking sheet will cause any cookie to spread too much and please do… 

Eat with joy!  
~ Cleo 

To get more of my recipe ideas, win free coffee, 
or learn about the bestselling books in my
Coffeehouse Mystery series, visit my web site: 

Just one more announcement of good news for my readers. My editor contacted me to say Murder by Mocha is holding steady as a national bestseller and Roast Mortem is "burning through the racks" -- her words! RM made it to a Top-5 Top-Selling Paperback Mystery Bestseller at Barnes and Noble stores nationwide... 

Thank You,

Roast Mortem is a book that's close to my heart. Arson leads to multiple murders in the plot itself, but the book's core theme speaks to the bravery of New York's firefighters. This is also a culinary mystery (with favorite firehouse recipes in the appendix). But it's been on sale for over a year in hardcover and digital formats, so I never expected a showing like this for RM, and it's because of my readers, and today I'm raising a cup to you...