Sunday, August 12, 2018

FUDGY DELIGHT COOKIES from #Author Catherine Bruns #Giveaway

Thank you to Denise for inviting me here today. As you can probably tell, I love culinary themed mysteries. I’m a huge fan of desserts, especially cookies, so what’s better than writing about them? My main character Sally Muccio runs a novelty cookie shop in Western New York. She and her best friend Josie bake several varieties, one being the fudgy delight. Upstate New Yorkers know these cookies by a different name though—fudge fancies. They are a delicious sugar cookie topped with rich chocolate fudge frosting and were the signature cookie of the Vanilla Bean Bakery, which closed its doors about 10 years ago. The cookies still live on, though. Other bakeries in my area sell them with some varieties being better than others (and believe me, I’ve tried them all!) I’ve asked repeatedly for the recipe and always been turned down. So, with the help of my friend Amy, I created my own version and think they taste just as good as the original.

For the Vanilla Cookie:

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk together to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar, and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, scoop out the dough into the size of a golf ball, or use a 2-tablespoon scoop for them. Flatten the ball slightly, to about half-inch thickness, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes or just until set. Do not overbake. The edges should be no more than very lightly browned. Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes between 3 and 4 dozen cookies, depending on size.

For the Fudge Frosting:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup baking cocoa
1 cup milk
½ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a 3-quart saucepan mix granulated sugar and cocoa. Stir in milk, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Boil 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla extract with spoon until smooth. Fudge will be runny. Cool in the fridge for a few hours until firm and then frost. There will be enough fudge to frost at least 4 dozen cookies.

In need of some quick dough, full-time baker and sometime sleuth Sally Muccio decides to rent the vacant apartment over the bakery to a friend of her grandmother’s. Allegra Fiato is nothing like Sal’s darling Grandma Rosa, though. She’s mean, dishonest, and harboring a deadly secret.

When the elderly woman is mowed down in a hit and run, it quickly becomes obvious this was no accident. Grandma Rosa asks for Sal’s help to find the killer, which involves a last minute trip to Vegas crashed by Sal’s crazy parents, stolen fortune cookies, and a mysterious missing locket. To add more spice to the mix, a loved one makes a startling admission to Sal that shocks her to the very core. Suddenly, Sal’s world is in danger of crumbling around her. Can she put the pieces back together in time before the killer makes her the next victim?
*Recipes Included!*

You can preorder Crumbled to Pieces here:

Or start the series with the first book, Tastes Like Murder, which is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time!
Get the Cookies & Chance short story, Formals, Fortune Cookies & Fraud for free when you sign up for Catherine’s newsletter:

Leave a comment and tell me what’s your favorite cookie. One person will receive winner’s choice: A signed copy of any book in the Cookies & Chance series and one of my measuring spoons. (Please note that if you want Crumbled to Pieces it will not arrive until approximately the first week of October.) An ebook copy will be provided if the winner is located outside the U.S.
Other places to find Catherine:
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Catherine’s Cozy Readers (new group)

--Catherine Bruns is the USA Today best selling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She also writes the Carrie Jorgenson culinary books set in Hawaii and the Cindy York real estate mysteries. Her new series, the Italian Chef Mysteries, releases from Sourcebooks in Summer 2019. Catherine lives in Upstate New York with an all-male household that includes her very patient husband, three sons and several spoiled pets. In her spare time, she loves to read, bake and attend theater performances. She has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer.