Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Do you savor a mystery?

By Katie Casey
From Final Sentence, the 1st in the nationally bestselling A Cookbook Nook mystery series

Ever since I was little, I’ve loved food. I used to bake pies and cookies, and I’d go around the neighborhood selling them. My mother was encouraging. My father wasn’t very pleased with me. He said what I made wasn’t pretty enough to sell. I kept telling him the people that bought my goodies didn’t seem to mind how they looked. They liked the flavors. But he wouldn’t listen.

I can remember the first chocolate pudding I made from scratch. Horrible. But then I practiced and practiced. Practice is so important when it comes to cooking. Making good pudding was all about getting the temperature right as the concoction cooked. Making candy  and cookies uses the same principle.

When my mother got sick a few years ago and my father put her in a facility—she’s been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s—I decided to move out of the house. I couldn’t live with my father. I don’t have a lot of confidence, except in the kitchen, and with him whittling away at me, well, it just wasn’t fun. Life’s got to be fun, right?

I first got a job as a chef for Old Man Powers. He was a hoot. His family, not so much. But Mr. Powers could tell a good yarn. He had millions of them. When he passed on, I applied for the job at the Cookbook Nook café. Hoo-boy, my pal Jenna was so surprised to see me. You should have seen the look on her face. She read my resumé and probably thought all I could cook was soft, gummy, old- people food. When she tasted the menu I prepared…well, I wish I had a camera. She was over the moon.

Jenna and I lost touch when she went off to college, but now she’s back in Crystal Cove, and I’m so glad she is. I’m teaching her how to cook. She’s getting me up to speed on all the books I should read. She’s an avid reader. She’s turned me on to a whole slew of culinary mysteries.

Are you a foodie? Do you love reading about food?

Here’s one of my favorite cookie recipes. Enjoy!

Ala Katie

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sour cream 

1/4 cup water
3 cups flour (*if gluten-free, add ½ teaspoon xanthan gum)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips or raisins (or mixture)
For Glaze:

1/2 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 - 4 tablespoons milk (I used 2)


Heat oven to 375 Degrees.

Cream together the butter, sugar, and eggs.

Add in the maple syrup, sour cream, and water, and blend well.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, soda, and salt; then gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until well combined.

Gently sir in the chocolate chips and/or raisins.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet, leaving about 2" between cookies. Press with fingers or back of spoon to flatten.

Bake 8-10, until light brown.

Remove to a cooling rack (or paper towels) and allow cookies to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make glaze. Heat the butter until it begins to change color (light caramel); then remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Using a whisk, stir in confectioners' sugar and maple syrup. Gradually add the milk until the glaze is the desired consistency.

Spread glaze over cooled cookies.

* * * * * *

The first book in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series is out!!

You can order the book HERE.

It's set in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California and features Jenna Hart, a former advertising exec who returns home to help her aunt open a culinary bookshop and café.

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is out, too! 
You can order the book HERE.

Next up: 
Cheese Shop Mysteries: DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT preorder here.
Cookbook Nook Mysteries: INHERIT THE WORD, available soon!

You can learn more about Daryl by clicking this LINK. "Like" my page on Facebook and "follow" me on TwitterAnd if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! You can also follow and "like" Avery Aames the same way:  Facebook and Twitter


  1. Willow, thanks! It's a fun place. Lots of great books to peruse, fun recipes, pretty kitchen items. And you can't beat the weather in California!!


  2. I'm a foodie and I love to read culinary mysteries. These cookies sound amazing-they'd be especially great during maple season! I love going to sugar shacks and getting fresh maple syrup!

    1. Kat, so good to see you here. I adore culinary mysteries, too. So tasty. Oooh, wish I had a sugar shack nearby. Not in California. Or at least, I don't think so.


  3. These cookies look sooooo good. I think the raisins would go perfectly with that icing...thanks for the post and the recipe!

    1. Lucy, you bet. The raisins make these. They add so much texture.


  4. Crystal Cove sounds magical! And Jenna's shop is just the kind of place I could spend too much money.


    1. Krista, Jenna gives out coupons. Coupons help, right? :)


  5. I love reading about food! =)
    I have this book on my living room shelf, and looking forward to reading it!

    1. Melissa, so glad to hear that. I hope you enjoy the adventure.