Sunday, May 27, 2018

Welcome Darci Hannah!

A very warm welcome to Darci Hannah, whose new series A VERY CHERRY MYSTERY launches June 8th with CHERRY PIES & DEADLY LIES! Darci loves to bake for her family, and rumor has it she's a big coffee drinker, too!

Don't miss her giveaway below!


Thank you, Krista, for having me as a guest on the Internet’s most scrumptious, and cozy, website! Like the wonderful hosts of this blog, there’s little that gives me more joy than sharing one of my favorite recipes with a friend, or being able to tell them about a great book. Well, today’s my lucky day, because I get to do both.

Cherry Pies & Deadly Lies (available June 8th), is my first book in the new A Very Cherry Mystery series. And for this cherry-loving Midwesterner, setting a cozy mystery in the heart of cherry country (the beautiful Door Peninsula in Wisconsin) is basically a dream come true. I grew up sampling the region’s signature dish, the classic Door County cherry pie, and although I now live in Michigan, the largest producer of tart cherries in the US, there’s just something so special about Door County that I couldn’t help myself from writing about it. Whitney Bloom, my resourceful, millennial heroine, is also very glad that I did.

It’s late May and Chicago baker Whitney Bloom knows that the cherry orchards in Cherry Cove, Wisconsin, are in full bloom. She grew up on an orchard there, and her parents own the iconic Cherry Orchard Inn. Whitney also knows it’s the weekend of the inn’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, a fun-filled three-day extravaganza of cherry-centric events, culminating with the highly competitive Cherry Pie Bake-Off. Whitney’s grandma Jenn wins it nearly every year. This year, however, Whitney keeps “forgetting” to return her mother’s calls. She knows that her parents could really use her help at the inn, just as she knows that her mother wants her to enter her signature deconstructed cherry pie in this year’s bake-off, something Whitney is hesitant to do. Sure, she believes that her delicious cherry creation is up for the test. But returning to Cherry Cove would put her in the same town as Tate Vander Hagen, the former love of her life, and she just isn’t prepared to do that. Tate (aka Vanderlicious) is her kryptonite. Worse yet, her mother still adores him. It’s a dangerous combination any way Whitney looks at it. Nothing can break her resolve to stay in Chicago and focus all her energies on her cherry-centric online bakery, Bloom ‘n’ Cherries!—nothing, that is, until she learns that there’s been a murder in the orchard. Her resolve is further shattered when she learns that all fingers are pointing to her dad as the culprit.

Of course, I just couldn’t resist sharing one of my favorite cherry pie recipes! This one isn’t in the book, but it’s a show-stopper. I mean, really, who doesn’t want their own cherry pie?

Individual Door County Cherry Pies


Unbaked pie crust for two pies, (I cheat and use refrigerated pie crust for this recipe, but you’re welcome to make your own!)
6 cups frozen tart cherries (Although I recommend Door County cherries any Montmorency cherries will do. Most grocery stores carry them in the frozen fruit section.)
1 cup sugar
4 Tbs. corn starch
1 tsp. lemon juice
3 Tbs. butter

For the topping:
¼ cup butter (1/2 a stick)
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar

1.     Preheat oven to 375º
2.     Prepare muffin pan by spraying each cup with nonstick spray (I use a giant muffin pan for this recipe!)
3.     Roll out pie crust. Find a cup or bowl large enough to cover the cups of the muffin tin, and cut out dough circles. Line individual muffin cups with pie dough, crimping the top of the crust. Set aside.
4.     Place frozen cherries in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the teaspoon of lemon juice, cover and stir occasionally. After a few minutes, the cherries should start releasing juice. Keep covered and remove from heat.
5.     In a small bowl mix sugar and cornstarch together until combined. Pour mixture into the warm, juicy cherries and mix well.
6.     Return cherries to the stove and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until the liquid loses its cloudy appearance and becomes thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
7.     Make crumble topping. Place flour and brown sugar in small bowl. Cut in the butter until small crumbs form. Set aside.
8.     Fill prepared muffin cups with warm cherry filling. Top with crumble topping and put in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until done.
9.     Remove from oven and let cool. Before serving remove the individual pies from pan and top with your favorite vanilla ice cream and a dollop of freshly whipped whip cream.


Darci is giving away a copy of CHERRY PIES AND DEADLY LIES to one person who leaves a comment. 
Don't forget to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win!