Sunday, December 27, 2015

Welcome Paige Shelton!





A very warm welcome to our friend, Paige Shelton. Paige is the author of the Farmer's Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She's kicking off 2016 with a brand new series - A Dangerous Type Mysteries!

Don't miss Paige's giveaway of a copy. Leave a comment with your email address to enter!



Thanks for letting me stop by today, Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen! I love this site.

When I started thinking about a fun recipe to tie in with the release of the first Dangerous Type mystery, I remembered some cookies one of my bosses used to bring to work. She called them A to Z cookies. The idea is simple: a bunch of different ingredients are thrown together to create one delicious cookie. I’ve heard them called Kitchen Sink cookies too. Come to find out, they weren’t as simple as I thought.

I looked up my old boss, but at some point she moved and I couldn’t find her on Facebook. I set out to explore the great and wild Internet and found some interesting combinations. The first one I tried tasted so much like nutmeg that it felt more like a holiday cookie that just a cookie-cookie. The second one I tried was, despite all the ingredients, boring. Finally, I found something from Martha Stewart that I ended up liking. I make a few small changes to the original recipe, but Martha was unquestionably the inspiration for the following recipe.





 
A to Z Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups oats
¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut
¾ cup toffee bits (if you use the toffee bits mixed with chocolate, use fewer chocolate chips)
¾ cup chocolate chips (1/2 cup if you use the toffee bits with chocolate)
¾ cup dried cranberries or craisins.
¾ cup roughly chopped pecans
¾ cup broken salted pretzel sticks. I broke them each in about three parts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

Side note: I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer and I truly love it, I really do, but my hand mixer is my favorite by far. I think it’s because it’s what my grandmother and mother used. Feel free to use your stand mixer, but I used my hand one.

In a medium bowl cream together the butter and both sugars. Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. Stir in vanilla.

In another medium bowl whisk together (I like whisking so much more than sifting) flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix until well combined. Add the oats, coconut, toffee, chocolate, cranberries, pecans, and pretzels. Using a plastic spatula, stir and cut the ingredients together. Watch for gatherings of like ingredients and separate them. Martha says to use the mixer for this part, but I liked the plastic spatula better.



Using a big spoon or a 2-inch scoop, drop batter onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with your fingers to flatten a little bit. Transfer baking sheets to oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.




Since there are so many ingredients in these, I like to make them a little bigger than your typical cookie. Also, watch so the edges they don’t get too brown. I found that the 10 minute mark is perfect for my oven because the butter flavor came through better when the edges were just a little brown.
Makes about 3 to 3 ½ dozen.



Good luck and happy eating and reading!

Paige

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father's job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she'd only stay a couple years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After many decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona.






Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a copy of TO HELVETICA AND BACK!

122 comments:

  1. Oh, those cookies are just way to delicious looking to pass up. Happy new year cookies? YES! kat8762@aol.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Kathleen - Definitely Happy New Year cookies. Thank you!

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  2. A new author to read. With 3 mystery series, all of which sound terrific! I love this site!! My email is mjbookaddict@gmail.com.

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    1. Hi, Mary - good to meet you. Mystery Lovers Kitchen is most definitely a great site. Thank you!

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  3. The cookies look so good! Thank you for the recipe and giveaway!
    myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. I will have to try the cookies. They sound yummy!!! I am always looking for a new series!

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  5. 2016 is going to be a big year for you! I love love the Farmers Market Mysteries and the Cooking a school Mysteries so it will be exciting to read your new series! What could be a good substitute for the pretzels? I have a strange aversion to pretzels in food, although I love them plain.

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    1. Hi, Jody - Potato chips or peanuts might work as substitutes, though peanuts in cookies can really take over the flavor sometimes. You could probably just leave the pretzels out and be fine. Thank you!

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  6. These sound like a favorite of mine - Cleaning out the Cupboard cookies! Start with a soft dough and add whatever you have, in any amount. Raisins, dates, fruitcake stuff, nuts, etc. YUM! A new series by you - YAY!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Kay - you've got the right idea. Some of this, some of that, empty this bag . . . Thank you!

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  7. I've never had pretzels in a cookie.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    1. Hi, Sandy - I've never had them get soggy, which always surprises me. Thank you!

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  8. Those cookies do look interesting so I'll pinterest this page and send the link to my youngest daughter who does all our baking these days. My job is to keep her in white chocolate chips and Macadamia nuts.

    She make my white and chocolate chip with macadamia nut cookies. I know their good because Duffy B said so the year I sent them to her for Christmas. LOL

    I remember those typewriters on the cover and even older ones. My family had a real estate business from the late 1930's through the 1980's when my grandmother 'died'. Those old machines helped me write a lot of papers for school.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Hi, Nora - love white chocolate with macadamia nuts. So good. Thank you!

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  9. I'm looking forward to the new series! (Books go well with cookies!) Karlene rebarger@bellsouth.net

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    1. Hi, Karlene - I agree, books and cookies are perfect together. Thanks you!

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  10. This is the first I've heard of these cookies.
    theresa n
    weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  11. The cookies do look tasty. Even with a stand mixer and a hand mixer, I still mix by hand; truly old school. That's the way I was taught. I look forward to reading your new book.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  12. I definitely want to try that recipe!! I have a stand mixer, but haven't had a hand mixer for years--I want one, but can't find one at the right price that has any quality.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Sue - It took me a long time to replace my last hand mixer. I know exactly what you mean about the right combination of price and quality. Thanks for entering!

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  13. Can't wait to start this new series from one of my favorite authors! Congratulations Paige!!
    Jocelyn.strand@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi, Jocelyn - Always good to see you. Thank you!

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  14. Sounds like an awesome book! Will add to my wish list! Kkcochran@hotmail.com

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  15. I love reading recipes and eating the cookies - but don't have much time to bake anymore. cheers@marjimmanor.com

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    1. Hi, Margo - So true - hard to find the time. Thanks for entering.

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