Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Reindeer Brownie #recipe + Wreath Between the Lines #book #giveaway from @DarylWoodGerber

It's out tomorrow!!! Whee!

From Daryl:

WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES is the 7th in the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and as any fan knows, there are recipes in the book. I thought I’d share one with you today. *You can read more about the book below. 

Today, I’ll share a recipe for Brownie Christmas Trees. I saw pictures of these trees on Pinterest and knew I had to have Jenna, the owner of the Cookbook Nook and Nook Café, serve these to children who visit her establishments during the holidays. They are so darling. I’m sure your little darlings will want to help make them.

But first….the brownies. This is the best darned brownie recipe I’ve ever concocted, and it’s gluten-free!! So chocolate-y, so moist. By the way, “whey” powder helps keep gluten-free baked goods moister longer. *Note about using regular flour at end of post.

Reindeer brownies

*Use the brownie recipe, but bake it in two 9-inch cake pans for half the time so they are ultra thin (or you can split the cake after it's cooked, which is what I did the first time).

(Makes 12-16)

For decoration:

Peppermint candy canes with hooked tops
Chocolate frosting (*see recipe following)
Tootsie Rolls
Small marshmallows
Tiny chocolate chips
Vanilla wafers (*not gluten-free; see below)
Red M and Ms


Cut brownies into wedge shapes (6-8 per cake pan). Set on decorative flat plate.

Carefully insert candy canes for antlers at the top of the long edge of the wedge.

Paint the brownie with a thin coat of brownie frosting (*recipe below).

Cut Tootsie Roll on a diagonal. Set a Tootsie Roll on each side of long edge of the wedge for ears.

Snip marshmallows in half and set in the upper middle of the brownie face. Using a teensy amount of icing, affix tiny chocolate chips to the marshmallows for eyes.

Add a vanilla wafer to the pointed end of the wedge. Then, using a small amount of icing, affix a red M and M on top for the nose. (Note: Vanilla wafers are not gluten-free. If you need to eat gluten-free—the brownie recipe is—then omit this cookie and only use the M and Ms.)


(Makes 12-16)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa (I like Penzey’s but Hershey’s is quite good, too.)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I like a combo of sweet rice flour and tapioca flour.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon whey powder
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a round 9-inch pan with parchment paper and rubbed with butter.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add sugar and salt and stir until the mixture lightens in color. Just a pale yellow is fine. 

Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Blend in the vanilla and cocoa, and then add the eggs. Mix until shiny, about 1 minute.

Add in the flour, baking powder, and whey powder.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Make sure you spread it to the edges.

Bake for 32-36 minutes until the top of the brownie is set.  Insert a toothpick in the center to make sure it’s cooked through.  A tad of chocolate at the tip is fine.

Remove from oven and cool 15-20 minutes before cutting.  For the prettiest brownies, wait until they are completely cool.  No crumbs! 

Once cool, cover any that you’re not eating tightly with plastic or store in sealed glass containers.

*If you’d like to make this using regular flour, just swap out the flour and you may use any vanilla extract. I’d still use the whey powder. 


(makes 1 to 1 ½ cups)

6 tablespoons butter, softened
2-2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 to 1/4 cup milk

In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until combined. Beat in cocoa and vanilla. Add 1/8 cup milk, adding more if necessary, until the frosting achieves spreading consistency. If you add too much milk at first, it will be runny, so remember, less is more

What's Wreath Between the Lines about?

The holidays are Jenna Hart’s favorite time of year, but just as she’s decorating the Cookbook Nook for all the festive events, her imperious older sister makes a surprise visit, anxious that her husband has been more naughty than nice. To make matters worse, her father’s good friend Jake shows up on her doorstep with a frantic report that his friend has been murdered—trussed with Christmas lights and impaled with a tree star. 

Worried that Jake was the intended victim, Jenna makes a list of suspects and checks it twice. Swapping her Santa’s hat for a sleuthing cap, she gets busy investigating Jake’s long-lost sister, his Grinch of a neighbor, and a stamp collector who covets Jake’s most treasured piece. When Jake himself is poisoned and nearly dies, Jenna knows she’ll have to do whatever it takes to corner the culprit before it’s lights out for Jake . . .


One commenter will win a copy of WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES.  Winner picked late Thursday.  Tell me what is your all-time favorite Christmas dessert?  Leave your email so I can contact you if you win. 

To do this CLICK COMMENTS BELOW, at the end of the post.  It's a little word.  All Caps.  See it down and to the right of the Pin In button? 


Next book: Wreath between the Lines  BUY LINK
*E-book available right now.
* Paperback is available for pre-order on Barnes and Noble righ tnow. It won't be available on Amazon until the day of release, tomorrow. You will not SEE a link for paper on Amazon until that date, but it WILL BE AVAILABLE! PROMISE.

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A SOUFFLÉ OF SUSPICION, the 2nd French Bistro Mystery.
Can Mimi prove her chef innocent before the chef gets dusted?
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A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st French Bistro Mysteries, in all formats.
Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat?
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WREATH BETWEEN THE LINES, the 7th Cookbook Nook Mystery.
Jenna Hart is busy decking the halls and ducking a killer
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PRESSING THE ISSUE, the 6th Cookbook Nook Mystery.

The annual Renaissance Fair serves up a helping of crafty courtiers,
damsels in distress, and medieval murder . . .
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FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery.
Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
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GIRL ON THE RUN, a stand-alone suspense.
When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free?
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DAY OF SECRETS, a stand-alone suspense
A mother he thought was dead. A father he never knew. An enemy that wants them dead.
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  1. Christmas cookies! Nuthorns, decorated sugar cookies, peanut butter buckeyes....

    1. Liz, I don't know what buckeyes are. Sound fun. ~ Darylh

  2. So glad the new book is out! Congratulations! My favorite Christmas cookies are Snowballs, also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies.

  3. That is a hard one! My mom makes pecon rolls and they are soooo yummy!
    Wendy-clarksrfun at gmail dot com

  4. I have a serious sweet tooth so that's a hard one! I might have to go with brownies because they are my go-to dessert. And I just might have to try these this Christmas! My 8 year old would love them! A couple years ago, my family and I had a Christmas cookie exchange party and loved just about all of the ones I tried. Christmas desserts are the best desserts!

  5. We always have cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning so that is something I look forward to :-)
    Donah42 at aol dot com

  6. Pumpkin pie - a classic, and my favorite. pjcoldren[at]

    1. PJ Love pumpkin pie. I have that for Thanksgiving. ~ Daryl

  7. I don’t eat it anymore but I like fruitcake
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    1. Fruitcake. I remember my grandmother giving those as gifts. ~ Daryl

  8. I'd have to go with pumpkin pie. ckmbeg(at)gmail (dot) com

  9. I love lemon bars. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. My favorite dessert is sea salt caramel mousse. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  11. I know some neighborhood families who would love to make these reindeer brownies. As for my all-time-favorite Christmas dessert, that would be a slice of dark gingerbread (using some fresh ginger in the recipe for kick), with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.

  12. Love those brownies--so cute! My favorite during the holidays is See's Candy!! I would LOVE to win your latest book! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I adore See's Candy. Grew up on it. Give as gifts. :) ~ Daryl

  13. My favorite Christmas dessert is spritz cookies, but my son always wants gingerbread cookies.

  14. My mother-in-law makes a wonderful walnut torte with chocolate icing. cheers (at) MarjimManor (dot) com

  15. My favorite Christmas dessert is pecan pie.

  16. So many yummy Christmas desserts. But I guess my favorite is homemade orange cranberry nut bread.

  17. Christmas cookies are my favorite dessert during the holidays. Looking forward to reading "Wreath Between the Lines".

  18. Thank you for the brownie recipe (love the reindeer brownie - too cute!). My favorite Christmas dessert would be chocolate cake (or really almost anything with chocolate). Thank you for this wonderful giveaway. myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. Jen, I make a killer yule log - recipe in the book! Chocolate all the way. ~ Daryl

  19. Cute reindeer, sugar Christmas cookies yum

  20. I actually have two favorites. When I was a kid, my mom and my sister and I would make pumpkin rolls. I've always loved to eat pumpkin rolls. My other favorite is something I started making after chemo. They are called orange dream fudge. I'm not sure what it is about orange dream fudge but I love how smooth it is and citrusy it is. -brittany

  21. I can't wait to read Wreath Between the Lines, and you have done a fantastic job of advance publicity. The cover is perfect, too! My current favorite has been the Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks but I must confess if it's a goodie of any kind I want it. I think this year I'll tackle my mom's recipes for apple slices and for eclairs. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Sally, from your lips regarding the PR. It's not an easy job for an author to sell, sell, sell. We want to write, write, write. ~ Daryl