Sunday, February 18, 2018

Welcome to guest Libby Klein

Join us in welcoming author Libby Klein, who's introducing a new series--with beaches and recipes! Perfect for a dreary February. (Plus this lovely recipe isn't even in the book!) And a giveaway!

Aunt Ginny’s Lavender Madeleines

A few years ago, I travelled to Paris on vacation. Attending several days of cooking school in Montmartre was the highlight of my trip, and maybe my life.  One of my classes was themed Traditional French Desserts, and one of those desserts was madeleines. 

The French Chef who was my teacher that day would broker no nonsense. This was not a tourist class. This was college, and we were being graded. If there was any jocularity, she strongly disapproved with a string of expletives in French. 

There were a few students in the class who were neither Americans nor French, who were expecting a lighthearted activity to scrapbook about when they returned home. It did not go well for them. 

They were enjoying themselves thoroughly, tasting everything and giggling amongst themselves, when at one point, the chef had a total meltdown and started screaming up to the sky. “Oh, mon dieu! Ce qu se passe?! - Oh, my God! What is happening?!” Other chefs from different kitchens had to come in to calm her down. 

So, later, when she was already teetering over the edge, we made the madeleine batter. In a moment of temporary insanity brought on by a lack of judgement and not realizing how revered madeleines are in France, I asked, “So, madeleines are just muffins baked in a shell pan?”

“Ce qu se passe?!”

I barely made it out alive. 

This is a bonus recipe for Mystery Lover’s Kitchen readers as it does not appear in Class Reunions Are Murder. Aunt Ginny served Poppy these madeleines when she first arrived in Cape May. Of course, Poppy wasn’t gluten free yet, so Aunt Ginny’s madeleines would have been made the traditional way with wheat flour. Poppy has tweaked the recipe into a Paleo version, so she can eat them too. Aunt Ginny can’t even tell the difference. 

Aunt Ginny’s Lemon Lavender Madeleines–Paleo Version

(Small French cakes in the traditional shell shape)


1/3 cup + 1 tbsp. coconut flour 

1/2 cup arrowroot starch 
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
3 eggs 
1/3 cup raw honey 
1/4 cup pasture raised butter melted (or refined coconut oil)
1/4 cup coconut milk 
Zest of 1 lemon 
1/4 cup water 

2 Tablespoons dried lavender tea 
1/4 tsp lavender extract – optional


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two madeleine pans well.

Pour hot water over the tea and steep for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together the coconut flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum.

Whip the eggs until thick and lemon colored.

Strain tea.

Pour the honey, melted butter, coconut milk, lemon zest, strained tea, and lavender extract over the eggs, while mixing on low.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until incorporated, and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Use a cookie scoop to evenly divide the batter among the greased madeleine molds in the pans. You should fill the madeleine molds just about entirely. Do not bang the pan or pat down.

Place the madeleine pans in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until baked all the way through and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 5 minutes before turning over on a wire rack to cool.

Optional – sprinkle with powdered sugar or make a glaze with 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tblsp lemon juice. Neither option is paleo compliant because of the powdered sugar, but I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

These are lovely with a cup of tea, or a glass of lemonade.

To celebrate the launch of her new book, Libby is giving away a copy of the book and a package of coffee to one lucky winner who leaves a comment below!

About Libby

Libby Klein graduated Lower Cape May Regional High School sometime in the ’80s. Her classes revolved mostly around the culinary sciences and theater, with the occasional nap in Chemistry. She has worked as a stay at home mom, climbing the ladder up the ranks to the coveted position of Grandma. She also dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets and taking out the trash. She writes from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard. Most of her hobbies revolve around eating, and travel, and eating while traveling.

About Class Reunions Are Murder

Poppy McAllister is having a 40 year old funk.  Her life has not turned out quite the way she’d imagined. She’s recently widowed, with no marketable skills and an extra sixty pounds has crept up out of nowhere while she was living on cookies and frozen burritos. She’s been spending her nights on the couch with her black smoke Persian, Figaro, watching the Food Network and shopping the infomercials.

She’s coerced into visiting her Great Aunt Ginny’s in Cape May, NJ to attend her twentieth reunion, and help her best friend face off against two cheerleaders who bullied them throughout high school.

Her plans to get in, get out, and go home before being seen by the one who got away are interrupted when she stumbles upon the dead body of her greatest nemesis, and becomes the prime suspect in the murder.

Aunt Ginny proves to be a questionable sidekick when it comes to investigating, and to make matters worse, steamrolls Poppy into an appointment with a holistic doctor who prescribes the Paleo Diet to address Poppy’s health concerns.

Now Poppy’s stuck in Cape May while she tries to prove her innocence, get her life back on track, and stay one step ahead of a killer who’s determined to stop her from meddling.

You can order the book from:


Barnes and Noble


  1. Welcome, Libby! Love the madeleines recipe; and the book sounds like an awesome read!

  2. I’m looking forward to reading your book! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  3. We all (well, most of us) have some negative memories of high school. Who can resist a murder mystery involving a H.S. reunion. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

    1. Thank you. It's fun that the bullies get it in the end.

  4. I’ve never had Madelines but they look good.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  5. This is a delightful cozy and the recipe is so delectable. Madeleines are a wonderful treat. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Thank you. The lemon lavender makes them very different.

  6. The Madeleines are enticing and very special. What a captivating book. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Thank you. There is something special about them, isn't there. They are just so very French.

  7. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and story. I can't wait to make the Madeleines. I am looking forward to reading your new book, congratulations on it's debut.

    1. Thank you so much. I hope you love the book and enjoy the little muffins - err - cakes.

  8. Welcome to MLK Libby! Thanks for being our guest today. Your recipe for Madeleines is much less scary than the one in Julia Child's cookbook! I can't wait to read this--I love Cape May (I'm a former Jersey girl on exile in Michigan.)

    1. Thank you so much for having me. The French like to make everything as complicated as possible. I hope you love the book, and enjoy reminiscing about the Cape May sights Poppy visits.

  9. "Most of her hobbies revolve around eating, and travel, and eating while traveling."
    Sounds good to me!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  10. Madelines look so pretty---they do sound like a bit of a chore to make though.

    1. They are very easy. Think muffin batter baked in a shallow shell muffin tin. (don't tell the French chef i said that!)

  11. I love madeleines. I never thought about baking them myself, this recipe looks like i could do it though. As long as there wasnt a french chef yelling at me! I love Cape May, we try to take a long weekend there every fall.

  12. Sounds like a great read! musiqmom(at)yahoo(dot)com

  13. OMG! This recipe looks scrumptious! Thanks for joining us!

    1. I love traditional French flavors of Lavender, Violet and Rose in my sweets. I'm excited to be here.

  14. Welcome, Libby! What an amazing recipe, Madelines are one of my favorite treats. I've never made them, but maybe I'll give them a try. Looking forward to reading your book.

    1. Once you've tried making them you'll wonder why you waited so long. They're so easy. I hope you love Class Reunions!

  15. Welcome, Libby! What an amazing recipe, Madelines are one of my favorite treats. I've never made them, but maybe I'll give them a try. Looking forward to reading your book.

  16. Great sounding recipe. I have a friend who bakes these hope she will make some for me. Thanks for the chance.

    1. My friends put me up to making them treats all the time!

  17. Love Madelines - thanks for the recipe!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com