Sunday, December 15, 2019

Happy holidays, everyone!

   by Julia Bonatti from the Zodiac Mysteries by Connie di Marco

Okay, I’ll admit this right up front.  I am no cook!  Much less a baker.  Everyone I know thinks this is a shame and very funny too.  But this year, I really wanted to show everyone I could do it.  I could make Christmas cookies.  I have a copy of my grandmother Gloria’s recipe for what I call ‘Death by Chocolate’ cookies.  My grandmother doesn’t call them that, of course.  She has another name. 

Things didn’t turn out quite as expected.  This is what happened. 

First, I forgot to preheat the oven.  But I did remember to melt one cup of chocolate bits on top of the stove.  Problem was, I was so intent on beating the sugar and eggs together, the chocolate melted, then it burned, and then it set off the smoke alarm in the kitchen.  The chocolate also exploded all over the stove and the wall.  (Since then, I’ve heard about something called a double boiler.  Next time . . . if there is a next time.)

Sigh . . . I tried to clean the burnt chocolate off my little pan.  I scrubbed for half an hour to no avail.  Finally, I gave up and threw it in the trash.  I stuck another cup of chocolate pieces in the microwave.  That was a big mess too, but at least it all melted.  I’ll clean out the microwave later.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe next week. 

I did manage to mix the oatmeal and flour okay.  The sugar and butter were mixed and frothy and I remembered to add the vanilla extract.  I completely forgot about the baking powder.  Oh well . . . I crossed my fingers, hoping the cookies would still be okay.  Once I got all the batter put together, I added another cup of chocolate pieces, but they really didn’t mix very well. 

The easy part was rolling the dough into little inch-wide balls and running them around the dish of powdered sugar.  I put the cookie sheet with the little sugar-covered balls in the oven, but I forgot to set the timer.  It was only supposed to be 10-12 minutes, but before I knew it, thirty minutes had gone by.  When I pulled out the cookie sheet, my cookies had turned into little dark lumps.  Oh, and the cookie sheet was burned.  Had to throw that out too. 

I’m never going to do this again.  It’s way too much work.  Maybe my grandmother will be making these this Christmas . . . I hope!  If you’re interested and would like to try a wonderful recipe, and if you’re not like me, here’s the recipe for ‘Death by Chocolate’ cookies:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate pieces
½ cup sugar (brown sugar is good too)
½ cup margarine or butter melted
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups (quick-cooking) oatmeal
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt 1 cup of chocolate pieces.  Whip sugar and eggs together and add the vanilla and melted chocolate.  Mix oats, flour, baking soda and salt and add the chocolate, sugar and egg mixture to the dry ingredients.  Mix well and add another cup of chocolate pieces.
Shape the batter into 1-inch balls and roll each ball through the powdered sugar.  Bake 10-12 minutes, cool and store.

Hope you enjoy this recipe!  If you’d like to learn more about me and the Zodiac Mysteries, you can visit my author at her website, at Facebook and Twitter @askzodia. 
And this month is our giveaway month at Killer Characters too!  So, leave a comment to enter before midnight tonight (December 15th) and let my author know which book you would like.  You can choose a book from the Zodiac Mysteries or the Soup Lovers' Mysteries (written as Connie Archer).   
Happy holidays everyone!  Don’t worry I won’t be cooking.  



57 comments:

  1. These cookies sound yummy. I'd like A Clue in the Stew, if I win, please. Thanks for the giveaway!
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Jana ~ Noted! And best of luck today! These cookies are fabulous, I make them every Christmas.

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  2. I'd like Tail of the Dragon if I win, Please & thank you!. This is a new to me series I'd love to read. Merry Christmas! dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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    1. Hi Dianne ~ Hope you love the Zodiac Mysteries! I'll note Tail of the Dragon, but let me know if you'd rather start with the first, The Madness of Mercury, okay?

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  3. I love cookies and shall try thiso ne.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Debby ~ I'm a fiend for dark chocolate! I love these cookies. Best of luck!

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  4. The Madness of Mercury sounds good! Thanks for the chance.
    Jess
    Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Jess ~ The Madness of Mercury it is! Best of luck!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this wonderful cookie recipe that I will be trying very soon. It sounds like what my Mom called Chocolate Krinkles and we loved them. I bake cookies and candies to make goody bags to share the bounty of my kitchen to keep my Mom's tradition going from. Can remember her doing that for as far back as I can remember.

    Sorry for your kitchen disaster, but I have to give your kudos for keep trying after the first - second - third boo boo. :) Don't give up though. I was horrible in the kitchen but stayed determined and now hubby and I both love being in the kitchen creating our own little masterpieces. <3

    I would love the opportunity to read "The Madness of Mercury". Thank you for the chance to win a copy!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Hi Kay ~ thanks for stopping by and sharing your story! I'm not the greatest cook either, but I can make these!
      I'll note The Madness of Mercury and good luck! Happy baking and happy reading!

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  6. Yum! I would love A Spoonful of Murder. Thanks for the chance! Email oohllala(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hi Cherisse ~ Spoonful of Murder it is! And if you love soup as much as I do, this series has recipes in every book. Best of luck!

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  7. Love the Zodiac mysteries! I would like A Spoonful of Murder - thanks for the chance.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad to hear you've enjoyed Julia's adventures. She's a better astrologer than a cook, I can tell you that. Spoonful of Murder it is! Best of luck!

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  8. I'm not the best cook either. I have a handful of recipes that work out okay, and that's it! My book pick would be Tail of the Dragon. Thanks for the chance and happy holidays! mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    1. Hi Marla ~ thanks for stopping by today! I'm with you, I'm definitely not a great baker, but these cookies aren't too hard, just a little messy, but worth it! Good luck! Tail of the Dragon it is.

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  9. Hi, Julia! I'm so sorry you had such a time with those cookies. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I would like The Madness of Mercury. Say hello to Wizard for me, and Happy Holidays! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Autumn ~ thanks for stopping by today! The Madness of Mercury it is! I hope you try this recipe, it's really delicious! All the best!

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  10. I cannot bake but wish I could. The book I would enjoy is All signs Point to Murder. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm more like Julia myself. Hardly a great baker, but these cookies aren't hard to do. I really like this recipe and hope you try it! I'll note All Signs for you. Best of luck!

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  11. The cookies look amazing! These days I leave the baking and cooking to my Sister. I would live to read "The Madness of Mercury". Thanks for the chance. Merry Christmas!
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Dianne ~ you're lucky to have a great baker in the family! The Madness of Mercury it is, I'll note that. Merry Christmas to you and best of luck!

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  12. The cookies sound yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    I would like to win a book from the soup series.
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hi Joye ~ are you like most readers? Do you like to start at the beginning of a series? A Spoonful of Murder is the first in the series, introducing Lucky and her grandfather Jack, plus lots of recipes in all these books. Best of luck and happy reading!

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  13. I've had those days! Usually I'm pretty good with the baking side of things...It's cooking that I tend to mess up. Lol. These cookies look delicious! I may try to make them today, I'll let you know if I do. =) You are new to me so I would love the first book from either series. They both look like a lot of fun! Happy Holiday Reading...and Baking! Lol. konecny7(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Hi Marci ~ These cookies really are so good! Problem is, I can't wait to sample them myself when they come out of the oven. I eat too many! I do hope you try this recipe, it's really great. Best of luck and happy reading and baking!

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  14. Hi Julia. I agree you should not try this again, at least without some supervision. I love to cook but baking is not my thing as much. However, my granddaughter loves to bake so we have a constant stream of delicious Christmas treats. I print the recipe, she bakes it. Great plan. (Hi Connie - happy holidays!)
    sallycootie(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Sally ~ happy holidays to you too! That's what I should try, just have to find someone willing to do all the work! Happy reading! Let me know if there's a book you haven't read yet, in either series. Best of luck!

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    2. Hi Connie - Yes, it's a system that works really well for me :-). My granddaughter can whip up a batch of sugar cookies before I'm done complaining about the rolling, cutting and decorating. I'm all caught up with reading both series and eagerly waiting for the new Zodiac story, although it seems for some reason I don't have a copy of All Signs Point to Murder. s

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    3. Oh Sally! I had no idea! I thought you had read them all. Can you send me your address offline to conniedimarcomysteries@gmail.com?

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  15. Would love A Broth of Betrayal. Sounds like my baking adventures except I soak the pots/pans overnight. schmokercarol(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. LOL! Hi Carol ~ Julia's probably too impatient to do that! I'll note A Broth of Betrayal for you. Happy baking and happy reading!

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  16. These sound good. I'm always looking to try new cookie recipes.
    Would like to win A Spoonful of Murder, since I haven't read this series before.
    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Alicia ~ the Soup Lovers' Mysteries have lots of recipes too, you might really like those, but the cookies are totally delicious!
      Best of luck!

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  17. I’d like to win Spoonful of Murder.

    legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Kara, got it, I'll note A Spoonful of Murder for you! Happy reading and good luck!

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  18. Yum, those look great!
    I'd love Tail of the Dragon

    cjreynolds52(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Hi Connie ~ Tail of the Dragon it is! And the cookies are SO delicious too! Best of luck

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  19. Unless you get someone who will stand next to you and walk you through the recipe, don't try baking again.
    A Roux of Revenge, please

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. You're right, Libby! Nobody's safe in the kitchen with Julia though. Even her cat runs away. A Roux of Revenge, it is! Best of luck!

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  20. Even though I'm a practicing Witch and just starting to investigate astrology and absolutely hate every time there is a retrograde, I'd love to win a copy of A Spoonful of Murder. I love culinary cozy mysteries that include recipes. It's fun to try out new recipes.
    I now have found two new series to check out.
    Margaret: scarletbegonia5858(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Margaret ~ thanks for stopping by today. I'll note A Spoonful of Murder for you. Lots of good recipes in that series. As you can tell, Julia in the Zodiac Mysteries isn't much of a cook, but she does know astrology. Hope you get to enjoy both. Happy reading!

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  21. Tail of the Dragon is the only one I don't have yet. Sounds like a yummy recipe. I might have to add it to my list of ones to try. Kkcochran (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. Hi Kristin ~ Got it, Tail of the Dragon for you! This recipe is really great, with the double chocolate chips that melt in the oven. It is yummy! Happy baking!

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  22. The cookies sound yummy. I would love to win The Madness of Mercury, since I haven't read that series.

    kaye.killgore(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Hi Kaye ~ It's always best to start with the first one, isn't it? Best of luck and happy reading!

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  23. Ha ha ha...I can relate. I'm not the greatest cook or baker but I have gotten better over the years. These cookies sound delicious since I love anything chocolate. Plus, they have oatmeal in them so that makes them healthy, right? ;-) I would choose The Madness of Mercury if I should win. I just have to read a series in order! Thanks for your generosity and Happy Holidays to you. suemngirl(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much, Sue! I hope you get to try this recipe. I'm a chocolate freak too, that's why I love these cookies so much. I'll note The Madness of Mercury for you ~ best of luck!

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  24. That recipe looks yummy!! I'll be trying it this week. I would love any book from your Soup Lovers' Mysteries as I haven't read any of those books. I've read some from the Zodiac Mysteries. Thanks for the chance.
    ematov (at) comcast (dot) net

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    1. Hi Eileen ~ if you like to start a series from the beginning, then A Spoonful of Murder is the first in the Soup Lovers' Mysteries. I'll note those for you. Good luck with those cookies, they're fabulous!

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  25. Unfortunately for my family (many of whom are cookie lovers - including me), I am exactly like you in the kitchen. Well, let's just call it a mutual distrust between my kitchen and me. *LOL*

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    1. Aw, so sorry to hear that. I'm with you, but I have to say even I can make these cookies. They're worth a try LuAnn. Best of luck and thanks for stopping by.

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  26. THE MADNESS OF MERCURY for me thanks,

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Hi Mary ~ thanks for joining in. I'll note The Madness of Mercury for you. Good luck!

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  27. It's Monday morning, and using random.org, I'll find a winner . . .
    And the winner of the December 15th giveaway is Connie Reynolds! Congratulations, Connie! I'll send you an email to notify you.
    Thanks to everyone for entering our holiday giveaway.

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  28. I would love to win Tail of the Dragon. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. A Clue in the Stew or the Cozy Cookbook look good to me. I'm late to the party and just had to let you know that I can see myself opening the cupboard and making it with simple ingredients already in the pantry. Plus chocolate speaks my language. One of my friends had a Death by Chocolate Party and I was in heaven with the soothing indulgence of all kinds of chocolate. Thanks for the recipe and the photo of how yours turned out. I love reading cozy mysteries for the recipes and wish I could much along as I go through the books.

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