Sunday, May 24, 2020

Guest Libby Klein's Moscato Cheesecake Shooters, #recipe and #Giveaway

Leslie Karst here. I'm happy to welcome as a guest, Libby Klein, author of the fabulous Poppy McAllister Mysteries, and all-around fun gal and fabulous cook. Today, she tempts us with some to-die-for Cheesecake Shooters--and they're gluten free! Libby's offering one of her books to a lucky reader, so be sure to scroll down to the bottom for the GIVEAWAY! Take it away. Libby:

The past few weeks have been a challenge to find ingredients for baking. I feel like we've been given ration booklets for flour and sugar. And god help you if you want to make bread right now. There is no yeast in my county as far as the masked face can see. I had three people call me to borrow some on the same day. So I've pulled out a recipe that doesn't involve any of the usual suspects.

When I was writing Wine Tastings Are Murder, it occurred to me - much later than it should have - that the recipes should probably include wine as a main ingredient.  This Moscato Cheesecake Shooter will be featured in the back of the book, but you get a sneak peek here on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen today! 

One of the best things about this recipe is there doesn't have to be any baking. You can crush the cookies for the crumbs on the bottom of the cheesecake shooters, and use them just like that. No butter and no baking. I like the buttery crunch they add when you follow the recipe, but I don't always want to turn the oven on.

I hope you love this as much as we do!


Gluten Free Moscato Cheesecake Shooters

with Drunken Blackberries

Inspired by Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant’s Icewine cheesecake 

I used a Moscato that had notes of white grape, nectarine, orange blossom and honeysuckle


For the crust:
2 cups gluten free vanilla crème sandwich cookies
3 oz melted butter *omit if you aren't baking the crumbs

For the topping:
2 cups fresh blackberries
2 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP Moscato *You can substitute any dessert wine that you like, but be sure to substitute it everywhere the recipe calls for it.

For the filling:
¼ cup Moscato – very warm
1 packet (5 grams) unflavored gelatin powder

3 8-oz packages cream cheese
1 cup orange blossom honey
½ cup Moscato
Pinch salt
½ cup melted white chocolate

½ cup heavy whipping cream

You will also need small clear cups – whether you use real glass or plastic doesn’t matter, but make sure they are clear so you can see the layers.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush gluten free cookies in food processor. Mix in melted butter. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Set these aside to cool.

Toss blackberries in sugar and Moscato. Cover and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight until you are ready to serve the shooters.

Warm ¼ cup of Moscato – don’t boil it. Sprinkle on the gelatin and lightly mix it. Sit it aside and let it bloom. Heat the gelatin in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or until its dissolved and clear. Set it aside and let it cool to room temperature – but not so much that it gels.

Place cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer, or use a hand mixer, and beat it on medium to fluff it up. Now add your honey, ½ cup Moscato, and pinch of salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add in your gelatin wine mixture and beat until smooth.

Chop your white chocolate into pieces and then melt it, either in the microwave or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. 

Add your melted white chocolate to the cheese mixture. Set this aside.

In a deep bowl, beat ½ cup of heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form. When your cheesecake mixture is cool, fold in your whipped cream. 

Put 1-2 TBSP cookie crumbs in the bottom of your glasses. Just enough to cover the bottom. 

Fill glasses with cooled – but not set – cheesecake. Chill for at least 3 hours. Top with drunken blackberries before serving. (See photo at top.)

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 loves to drink coffee, bake gluten free goodies, and befriend random fluffy cats. 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.  

To be released December, 2020: It's vintage Poppy McAllister when the gluten-free baker and B&B owner tries to solve a murder at a Cape May winery . . .
When Poppy and Aunt Ginny agreed to host a Wine and Cheese Happy Hour for a tour group at their Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast on the Jersey Shore, they never anticipated such a sour bunch. Grumpy guest Vince Baker should be in a better mood—he’s filthy rich and on his honeymoon with his much younger wife Sunny, who seems to dote on him almost as much as her high-spirited teacup Pomeranian, Tammy Faye Baker.
But the honeymoon is over when Vince drops dead the next day touring the Laughing Gull Winery. Turns out he's been poisoned, and it seems like everybody on the tour is hiding something. Now Poppy has to put her gluten-free baking on the back burner and bottle up her feelings for the two men in her life while she charges after a bitter killer with a lethal case of sour grapes . . . 
Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!  

And now for the GIVEAWAY! To be entered to win a copy of any of Libby Klein's four published Poppy McAllister Mysteries, simply answer this question in the comments below: What comfort food have you made during this time of sheltering in place? 

Be sure to leave your email address, so we can contact you. The contest will run through Monday, May 25th.


  1. Chocolate brownies! positive DOT ideas DOT 4you AT gmail DOT com

  2. Two comfort foods have been made multiple times; double chocolate brownies with pecans and creamy bacon and potato soup.

    1. I first read that as "double chocolate brownies with pecans and cream bacon," which come to think of it, sounds pretty darn good!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I did too Leslie! But that soup sounds really good! ~ Libby

  3. Banana bread and a lot of chocolate chip cookies.

    1. What would we do without chocolate chip cookies? Yum! ~ Libby

  4. Thanks to a Mom that told me over and over to always have a well-stocked pantry, I was blessed with more than most when it came to flour, sugar and yeast. I will admit that I'm rationing them now that they aren't available which means things with those ingredients aren't as frequent as they usually are.

    That being the case and since strawberry season is going full force in my region now, we have indulged in Strawberry Delight a few times. It has a thin crust with ground pecans, flour and butter slightly baked. When the crust is cooled you spread with a mixture of a cup sugar (I use Splenda) 8 ounces cream cheese and a tsp. of vanilla beaten and then folded into a tub cool whip. Top with either whole or big chunks of strawberries (depending on the size of the berries). Chill this while making the last layer which is a cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1 1/2 cup water cooked until starting to thicken. Tale off and add strawberry jello stirring until dissolved. Cool to where it so it won't melt the previous layer, but also still able to pour over the strawberries. Refrigerate until set. You can also use this with peaches by changing the fruit and the jello flavor.

    Comfort food doesn't necessarily mean sweets. We have also been enjoying my Mom's recipe for homemade lasagna with a salad made from fresh veggies (lettuce, radishes, and green onions) from our garden which we were able to put in early when our trip to Utah was cancelled.

    Thank you for the fabulous opportunity to win one of your Poppy McAllister Mysteries books! <3 Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.

    Please be safe, stay healthy and by all means have a little adventure (whether in real life or through the pages of a great book) along the way.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Thanks for the recipe, Kay, it sounds delish!

    2. I think my grandmother made that same strawberry delight! I might have the recipe around here somewhere to compare. Thank you! ~ Libby

  5. I have made lasagna a couple of times. Next I will be baking a cake finally have ingredients. Thanks for the chance! Jess
    maceoindo (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. I'm about to make the top secret recipes for book six and a cake will be involved!~ Libby

  6. Great recipe, Libby. During the past two months, I have baked up a storm with my own sourdough starter...bread, scones, pancakes since our artisan bakeries were all closed, and decent bread was hard to get at any grocery store.

    I love to bake, but as the weather is finally getting warmer, my comfort food is gelato. My standard flavour is hazelnut but I can occasionally get the dark chocolate with rum and cherries from Stella Luna Gelato here in Ottawa. That one won an international gelato competition in Italy a few years ago and is hard to get!

    Looking forward to readings Wine Tastings Are Murder.
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

    1. Love, LOVE nocciola (hazelnut) gelato!

    2. Mmm Gelato. The best gelato I ever had was Baileys Irish Cream and it was a few blocks away from the Trevi Fountain. I've never come across it since. But now I have to find that chocolate rum cherry gelato. I may surprise you one day in Ottawa! ~ Libby

  7. brownies
    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

    1. I always love brownies. And so easy for me to make them gluten free! ~ Libby

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  9. I don’t cook but have eaten lots of takeout cheeseburgers and burritos with sour cream!

    1. I think we've ordered 5 Guys 5 times. And with a schaar gluten free cibatta bun I'm in heaven! ~ Libby

    2. ciabatta - Libby can't spell. ~ Libby

  10. Books and brownies have gotten me through! I am excited to have found your books woot!

  11. I have made chili with red beans.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot ) net

  12. This looks ridiculously delicious. Yum.

    Once a week we've been making a pizza. That kinda counts, right?

    Thanks for the cool contest!

    extraordinaryordinarywhimsy (at) gmail

    1. Pizza definitely counts--especially homemade!

    2. Oh yeah! Pizza is in my top 10! ~ Libby

  13. Family favorites: corn chowder, chicken and dumplings, homemade spaghetti sauce, and shepherd's pie.