Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

Posted by on Dec 5, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

These Classic Icebox Cookies are the kind of cookie I think about when holiday cookies come to mind.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

That’s because these are the kind of cookies I remember eating at Christmas when I was a kid–at preschool, at school, at home, everywhere. When my mom baked them, I had the all-important duty of Sugar Sprinkler.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

When I was just starting to bake, but still really nervous about it, I’d buy sugar cookie dough tubes at the store. At least I had the sugar-sprinkling down pat.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

This recipe makes cookies that are a total nostalgia trip. They look and taste like a childhood holiday.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

The only difficult thing about this recipe is stirring everything together. Get your biggest bowl, the one a large cat can completely fit in. Even then, stirring everything together might get messy.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

If you have kids or grandkids around, this is the perfect recipe for them to help out and build some memories of their own. Carry the nostalgia forward.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

Modified from All Recipes Magazine December/January 2018.


Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

These are basic, classic, delicious cookies, packed with nostalgia and topped with colorful sugar. The hardest thing about the recipe is mixing the sheer amount of ingredients in the bowl. Do note that the dough requires chill time prior to baking.

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
  • decorating sugar

Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Gradually mix in as much flour as possible, then stir by hand to get to at least 4 1/2 cups. Dough should be stiff.

Divide dough into thirds and shape into logs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Enshroud in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice dough rolls into 1/4-inch slices, reshaping with hands as necessary, and place them on cookie sheet with plenty of space to spread. Add decorating sugar on top.

Bake until the cookie edges are turning golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Depending on how cookies are cut, makes anywhere from 60 to 90 cookies.


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Guest Author Jennifer Lee Rossman Visits with an Excerpt of Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freak Show

Posted by on Dec 4, 2018 in Blog, guest, others books | 0 comments

I’m happy to welcome Jennifer Lee Rossman as a guest today! Jennifer’s book Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow is out from World Weaver Press today, and it sound awesome! The title alone is enticing, but read on and grab a copy of your own today.


Back cover summary: Jack Jetstark travels the universe to seek out the descendants of superpowered freaks created long ago by VesCorp scientists. The vibrations encoded in a particular song transform the members of Jack’s crew into a firebreather and an angel, a wildman and telepathic conjoined triplets, so they hide the truth of who they really are with the theatrics of a carnival.

The song plays every night through the receptor Jack carries with them, but when one night it has a different ending and their temporary powers become permanent, Jack believes the change is a signal from the woman who sent him on this quest in the first place. He and his freaks must navigate a universe at war to protect the love of his life.

But does the ruler of VesCorp really need protecting?



Not a lot of money in the traveling carnival business anymore. Enough to make a living, but not like it used to be, back when fleets of enormous ships traveled the skies, bringing roller coasters and virtual reality machines to the residents of the universe. Sometimes it felt like we were the only ones out there, with our meager rides and food stalls offering unhealthy fried things on sticks; nothing special that couldn’t be found at any summer funfair on any planet, moon, or decently sized asteroid.

But people wanted to see the unusual, to be scared out of their wits by the alien creatures from the far-off places they could only dream of visiting. Therein lay the appeal of the sideshow, without which our profit margins would wither to nothing and the Rubeno and I would be stuck delivering cargo again. She was built for that kind of work. Me, not so much.

I much preferred life as a space carny. If nothing else, it was a more enjoyable way to make a buck, and far less lonely. In a world that shunned and ridiculed, our little piece of space was a welcoming reprieve. It was a home, it was a family.

Merulo warmed up dinner in an old food heater, setting chipped plates on the table while he attempted the impossible task of wrangling his unruly mop of black hair. The triplets eased their pained minds by chatting among themselves and watching game shows on a screen made mostly of static. And Lily sat in front of a lighted mirror, removing the heavy mascara that made her eyes pop while undoubtedly planning our route to the next planet in her brain that never slowed down.

She noticed me watching and arched a thin eyebrow. “What?”

“It’s just nice,” I said. “All of this. It isn’t like the world out there. It’s real.”

A small voice spoke from behind me. “It’s fake.” I turned to see the girl, the one with the bits of hay in her red braid, standing in the doorway. Shock and disillusionment cast shadows over her freckled face, the horrors of the show paling in comparison to this glimpse backstage.

“How did you get in here?” I demanded, not expecting any trouble but sure that I had locked up the carnival entrance as well as the stairwell leading to our living quarters.

“Is any of it real?”

I looked back at my crew, this time through her eyes; disturbing sights to say the least. A wildman in a robe and eyeglasses, a jovial grin on his chubby face. Conjoined triplets separated and sitting on opposite sides of the room, the sickly pallor having been wiped from their dark skin. An angel in jeans and a crocheted shawl, her beak transformed into a nose and her bare shoulders showing no sign of ever bearing wings.

Even I’d changed since the show, from the fiery barker who spouted words with ease to a broody slacker in a vest who’d couldn’t turn a phrase to save his life.
Not hard to understand her surprise. The only thing worse than seeing terrible, man-eating monsters was seeing them without their disguises, seeing that; deep down, they were only human, same as anyone else. I liked to keep that particular fact a secret, as people tended to pay much more to see anatomical anomalies than they did to see ordinary people, but I didn’t see a way out of this. She looked too smart to fall for anything I could pull out of thin air.

“Is it all fake?” she asked, stepping into the room.

I put my arm out to stop her. “I asked you first; how did you get in here?” I tried not to sound too upset, but the thought of someone trespassing on my ship, my secure ship where my people expected to be safe, infuriated me. If a mere girl could get on board without triggering the alarms, why not a crew of galactic pirates?

The girl retreated, her gaze flicking from one person to the next before landing on me. “I’m sorry. It’s just… it’s what I do.” She fiddled with her hands and tugged down the sleeves of her red and black jacket.

“What does that mean?” Lily asked, coming to my side and taking over the interrogation while the others watched with caution.

“It’ll be easier if I just show you.” The girl closed and locked the door behind her, then knelt to peer at the electronic lock. She placed her palm over the device and the lock clicked open a moment later. She pushed open the door and turned to us, the faintest hint of a smile on her lips.

“That’s impossible,” Theon said as he came to inspect the lock, sounding almost insulted at the breach in security. “I installed it myself. It only opens with our keycards.” He gave the girl a sideways glance, his dark, deep-set eyes narrowed. “They’re electronic.”

She shrugged, offering a wide grin that showed too many teeth. “So am I.”

Buy the book in paperback or ebook!

Barnes & Noble
World Weaver Press

Jennifer Lee Rossman is an autistic and physically disabled sci-fi writer and editor. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, and she co-edited Love & Bubbles, a queer anthology of underwater romance. She blogs at and tweets @JenLRossman

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2018 Work for Award Consideration

Posted by on Nov 29, 2018 in anthology:story, awards, Blog | 0 comments

All the cool kids are doing it, so I suppose I should raise my hand from the shadows. It’s award nominations time!

I have only one work that I’m putting forth for consideration, in the short story category:
“To This You Cling, With Jagged Fingernails” published in Fireside Magazine in July 2017.

The story has had some nice notice, including a review at the B&N SFF Blog that said, “Cato perfectly captures the bittersweet moment when you feel the magic of childhood slip away, a moment haunted by sadness, and by the loneliness you can feel in a crowd when you think no one else feels the same, or as deeply, as you.”

Quick Sip Reviews wrote a beautiful review, saying, “It’s a graceful read, though, careful and with a blush of defiance, a hope that maybe magic isn’t just for those too young to know better.”

The story is also included on the SFWA Nebula Reading List.


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Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Posted by on Nov 28, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

After Christmas last year, I scored a whole stack of fruitcake fruit containers for 80% off on the grocery clearance aisle. I already had recipes in mind for the fruit, and this is one of them.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

These Fruitcake Cookies are essentially good old fashioned chewy oatmeal cookies with new mix-ins. Really good mix-ins.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Really, these are pretty and rustic cookies to behold. The red and green cherries look like sparkling jewels. I was surprised at how well the dates worked, too; they were meatier and softer than the usual raisins.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Plus, there’s a comfort food vibe around these cookies. They look like a variation of oatmeal cookies, but the different fruit gives them a distinct holiday vibe.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Of course, if you’re like me and use fruit snagged on a post-Christmas sale, that might be a holiday vibe in January or February. But hey, good cookies shouldn’t be confined to any one season.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

And these are definitely good cookies.

Modified from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Bars.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

This recipe is a fantastic way to use fruitcake fruit mix up without the fuss and time investment of making fruitcake! These are like chewy oatmeal cookies with soft nuggets of fruit.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) fruitcake fruit mix with chopped red and green cherries, pineapple, etc

Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugars. Add egg and vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Gradually mix into creamed ingredients. Stir in the coconut, dates, and other fruit.

Use a tablespoon scoop to place dollops of dough on parchment paper, giving them space to spread. Bake for about 15 minutes. Set on rack to cool. Store cookies in a sealed container at room temperature.


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