Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mexican Wedding Cookies, Regular and Gluten-free Recipe, too

From Daryl aka Avery I’m done traveling to promote FINAL SENTENCE. Whee! Well, almost whee. I have a reading at Book'd in Burbank, California on Thursday (should be great fun) and a Great Summer Reads: Speed Dating with Authors on Sunday at Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach (which supports literacy and more), but then I’m done.

And none to soon. I need to sleep. I need to turn in edits on the next Cheese Shop Mystery, DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT. And soon I will need to turn in a completed manuscript for Cookbook #3, BETWEEN A BOOK AND A HARD PLACE.

What do they say about idle hands?

In FINAL SENTENCE, the focus is on cookies. Desiree, a celebrity chef who comes to town to help Jenna launch The Cookbook Nook, has a new cookbook out titled, get this, Cookies, Cakes, Sweets and More: A Desiree Divine Dessert Extravaganza. Have you ever looked at cookbook titles lately? They go on and on.  Delicious Cookies just wouldn’t do!  LOL

Anyway, in the story, one cookie stands out. There’s some question as to the authenticity of a Mexican Wedding Cookie recipe. Of course, I had to make one of my own, and this one is gluten-free. It’s the nuts that hold the hold thing together and give it the fabulous  (and I do mean fabulous) crunch!

The recipe is super easy. Jenna couldn't make them if they weren’t. She’s not quite a chef yet. Aw, heck, she can barely make anything with more than five ingredients.

The recipe is included at the back of the book!


From Jenna:

This recipe (from my pal Desiree) requires that you form the dough into crescent shapes. Whoopee! Now we’re talking. I loved Play-Doh as a kid, and I loved to sculpt when I was in college. Making these cookies is all about having fun. Let the child in you party.

(makes 30-36 cookies)

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for coating baked cookies
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup chopped almonds (or pecans), chopped into very small pieces
Add water if necessary

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Line cookies sheets with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar at low speed until it is smooth. Beat in the vanilla.

At low speed, gradually add in the flour.

To chop the nuts, I used my food processer. You can also use a “whackah-whackah” (manual food chopper) or you can also put them in a baggie and smash them with a meat tenderizer hammer.

Mix in the nuts with a spatula.

For each cookie, take out about 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a crescent. Dust hands with flour, if necessary, as you make more cookies.

Place cookies onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 40 minutes. When the cookies are cool enough to handle, but still warm, roll the cookies in additional confectioners' sugar to coat.

Cool entirely before eating. Store in an airtight container.

NOTE:  for gluten-free version, switch out regular flour to1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour plus 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum - it's that easy!!!  [I like a combo of sweet rice flour and tapioca flour; you can use almond flour or potato starch...]

 Add more powdered sugar if you'd like!!!

* * *

Here are some pictures from the event I attended last week in New York City, Thrillerfest.
Me and wonderful author pal Hilary Davidson

Part of the panel I was on with Patrick Lee, Barry Lancet, myself, and Ethan Cross

New author pal Gary Grossman who says he might be able to introduce me to the Food Channel. :)

Also, tomorrow, I’m giving away on my Facebook page, a book from two of the authors I signed with in Scottsdale, Arizona:  our very own MLK alum Jenn McKinlay GOING GOING GANACHE and Jane Cleland LETHAL TREASURE. So make sure you chime in if you’d like to win a copy!

* * * * * * *

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. 

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


  1. Sounds good, but they aren't gluten-free unless you use some other kind of flour: almond, for instance. Wheat flour has gluten.

    1. Dumb me. I just woke up on the West Coast and realized that I didn't post the switch to gluten-free. I am SO SORRY!!!!! It's a simple switch: change the regular flour to an equal portion of gluten-free flour plus 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum.

      Bad me.


  2. wow Daryl/Avery, you must be exhausted! The cookies look marvelous:). The FOOD CHANNEL?? we all want to come along for that ride! congrats on everything. xoo

    1. Lucy, I know. I'm hoping Gary can pull this off. We'll see....LOL


  3. Any recipe that starts with a cup of butter sounds good to me! Blame all those Irish dairy farmers up the line in my family.

    Enjoy your break--traveling really does wear you down, even though it's wonderful.

    1. Sheila, yes, that butter makes such a lovely difference!


  4. Yummy! Start the wedding! Hope you are having fun with the new series.


    1. Mary Jane, "here comes the bride"... :)

      Yes, iI'm having such a good time with the new series. I love spending time with a new cast of characters. I love writing, period! :)


  5. Sweet post - great cookies and fun photos. Thanks for sharing the excitement of your new series launch and book tour. Not much of a rest for you as you pick up the work on the next book, but it's clear you love the work and that's what matters. I'm with MJ, let's have a wedding with those cookies and champagne all around!

  6. You've been having so much fun!

    The cookies sound wonderful. They're always a favorite, aren't they?


  7. If only it weren't 90 degress here today I might be tempted to bake a batch.

    1. Susie, I know, baking with a hot house can be daunting. Yesterday, I spent all day baking new recipes for my latest Cheese Shop Mystery. The house was definitely pushing temps!!