Posts made in November, 2014

Sunday Quote hits the road

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off

“The story is always better than your ability to write it.” ~Robin McKinley

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Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pepitas Cookies

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, maple | Comments Off

Maple, maple, maple. I love maple. It’s only right to transition with a cookie that is perfectly fall or Christmas–both its flavor and appearance.

Maple Pecan Pepitas Cookies8_sm

Have you ever had Pecan Sandies from the grocery store? These are kinda like that, but better. They boast a strong, clean maple flavor. I loved the combination of pecan bits and pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds); they both crunch, but in different ways.

Maple Pecan Pepitas Cookies5_sm

Plus, look at the red and green colors! Perfect!

These are fridge cookies. That means you roll them into logs, like so, then keep them in the fridge for a day or two, or freeze them.

Maple Pecan Pepitas Cookies1_sm

When it’s time to bake them, just slice. Sometimes the dough crumbles a bit because of the nuts. That’s okay. Just mush it together again.

Maple Pecan Pepitas Cookies2_sm

As shortbread-style cookies, these will also keep exceptionally well–days, and probably for over a week, if you can make them last that long. I’d bet they are great for mailing as gifts, too.

The gift of maple-flavored things is the gift of happiness and love.

Recipe modified from Jo Ann Kurtz’s Maple Pecan Refrigerator Cookies recipe, as featured in Relish Magazine (December 9th 2012).

Maple Pecan Pepitas Cookies9_sm

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pepitas Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tb real maple syrup
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup pepitas

Beat the butter for several minutes, until creamy. Slowly add the sugar. Add syrup, egg yolk, and extracts. Stir in the flour and nuts.

Divide dough in half. On plastic wrap, shape the dough into long log shapes about 1 1/2 inches or so high. Completely wrap the logs and stash in fridge until firm, at least two hours. They can also be frozen.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Slice logs into 1/2 inch thick rounds and set on parchment papered or greased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cookies are set and just barely tinted with color.

OM NOM NOM.

Maple Pecan Pepitas Cookies7_sm

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Sunday Quote is excited about Thanksgiving

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off

“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” ~William Faulkner

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<3 Librarians

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog, clockwork dagger, public speaking | Comments Off

I love librarians. My hometown librarians took good care of me when I was young. They knew to let me know when new horse books arrived or when old favorites of mine were being discarded and sold. They helped me get my fix.

Bookalanche!

Therefore, I was really excited when the Greenville Public Library in Ohio reached out to me for an interview. It’s now up on their blog, Fourth and Sycamore.

I also have a guest post over at Milo James Fowler’s site where I discuss why I write a bit of everything.

I’ll be busy with Thanksgiving and family and loads of cooking next week, so I’ll be scarce online. Happy Turkey Day to my fellow Americans, and happy almost-winter wishes to everyone!

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Bready or Not: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Shortbread

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, pumpkin | Comments Off

Shortbread makes me think of autumn, so it’s only right to combine shortbread and pumpkin.

Choc Chip Pumpkin Shortbread

It’s been a while, but I have talked about my shortbread/autumn association before. It puts me in mind of kilts and bagpipes and happy family times.

Pumpkin lends an orange tint and a very mellow and pleasant flavor. It’s such a small amount that it doesn’t make the pieces feel tacky, either.

Choc Chip Pumpkin Shortbread

The original recipe called for dark chocolate. That’s just not my thing. I prefer white chocolate with pumpkin. Here, I mixed in white and semi-sweet chips. YUM.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that this uses an 8×8 pan–the shortbread is thick, so it makes a good bit. I cut it small, like I would with fudge.

Choc Chip Pumpkin Shortbread

Like most any shortbread, these keep very very well. I imagine it would mail well, too, if you don’t live in a place where it’s still 100-degrees in November.

Modified from Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Shortbread from The View from the Great Island.

Choc Chip Pumpkin Shortbread

Bready or Not: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Shortbread

  • 2 sticks, (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 heaping Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp each: cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, allspice
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (white, dark, semi, whatever you want!)

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Prepare an 8x8 dish by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment paper and applying nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Beat in the vanilla, pumpkin, and spices.

Fold in the flour, and then the chocolate chips.

Spread the batter in the pan, smoothing it out evenly.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the edges just start to turn gold. Set out to cool to room temperature, then use the foil or parchment to lift the shortbread out for easy cutting.

!Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

!OM NOM NOM!

 

Choc Chip Pumpkin Shortbread

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