Posts made in November, 2017

CLOCKWORK CROWN on sale for $1.99

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Blog, clockwork crown | 0 comments

Happy holidays indeed–The Clockwork Crown, the 2nd book in my Clockwork Dagger duology, is on sale for $1.99! Buy it for yourself, or give it as a gift. The prices is good across all major ebook retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iTunes

Google Play

The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato

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Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, oreo | 0 comments

If you’ve ever had Oreo Truffles–those luscious bon-bons of pulverized Oreo encased in chocolate–you’ll love my original take, which is a heck of a lot easier and prettier, too.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

The original Oreo Truffles always irritate me because I can never get a nice, smooth chocolate covering on the balls. You’ll see what I mean next month when I feature a different take on such truffles.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

Therefore, I removed the balls from the equation. This recipe has a brownie base, topped with an Oreo-cream cheese mix, then topped with a ganache. Oreo crumbs and peppermint bits give it a showy finish.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

No dipping balls in chocolate for an hour. No mess everywhere. This recipe is easy-peasy.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

Plus, the cut-up bars will keep for as long as a week if they are sealed in the fridge. That makes them convenient to make-ahead for holiday gatherings… and lets you finish them off at your leisure afterward.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

You can use a number of different kinds of Oreos here, too. Mint Oreos are great, but regular Oreos are fine if you add some extra peppermint extract. You can use all-chocolate kinds of Oreos–even the new Thin Oreo version–but I don’t advise using Double Stuf. You do want a lot of cookie crumbs.

 

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

This Bready or Not original remakes traditional Oreo Truffles in a brownie bar form that’s a lot more convenient to make.

*Note that original or all-chocolate Oreos or even new Thin Oreos may be used; just add another 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to either the Oreo layer or top chocolate layer. However, don’t use Double Stuf. You want more cookie crumbs!

  • brownie base
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder, optional but awesome
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • Oreo layer
  • 1 package Cool Mint or Peppermint Oreos*
  • 8 ounce cream cheese (1 block), softened
  • topping
  • 10 to 12 ounces of chocolate (mint, semi-sweet, dark, or milk; add more peppermint extract if desired)
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint bits

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray or butter well.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, followed by the two extracts, salt, cocoa, and flour. Don't overbeat.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 22 to 27 minutes. Cool completely.

While the brownies are cooling, make the Oreo truffle layer. Crush Oreos in a food processor or by putting them in a sealed gallon bag and smashing them with a rolling pin until rendered to crumbs.

Reserve 1/4 cup of Oreo crumbs for topping. Place the rest of the crumbs in a large bowl, and use a big spoon to mash the Oreos into the softened cream cheese until the color is consistently black.

Smooth the Oreo-cream cheese mix atop the cooled brownies, using an offset spatula to get right to the edges.

To finish off the truffles, melt the chocolate either on the stovetop or in the microwave, and pour it over the Oreo layer. Smooth it out evenly. Immediately top with the reserved Oreo crumbs and peppermint bits.

Refrigerate until set, about 15 to 20 minutes. If it's too soft, and it will smear when cut; too hard, and it will crack. Use the foil to lift the brownies onto a cutting board, then slice into bars.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge, with waxed paper between the stacked layers. Keeps for at least a week.

OM NOM NOM!

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My 2017 Works for Award Consideration

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in awards, Blog | 0 comments

The end of the year is nigh, which means it’s time for awards buzz to build up within genre fiction. I have three works in three categories that I wish to bring to readers’ attention.


Uncanny issue 15

SHORT STORY CATEGORY: “With Cardamom I’ll Bind Their Lips,” Uncanny Magazine issue 15. Available to read online; podcast version can be downloaded here.

Reach out via the Contact Form to request a different format.


Red Dust cover

COLLECTION CATEGORY: Red Dust and Dancing Horses and Other Stories, Fairwood Press. Available in print and ebook at all major booksellers.


NOVEL CATEGORY: Call of Fire (#2 in Blood of Earth Trilogy, following Breath of Earth), Harper Voyager. Available in trade paperback and ebook everywhere.

Thank you for your consideration!

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Sunday Quote adores Jim Henson

Posted by on Nov 26, 2017 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“As children, we all live in a world of imagination, of fantasy, and for some of us that world of make-believe continues into adulthood.”
~ Jim Henson

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Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, mint | 0 comments

Imagine chocolate chip-flecked shortbread sticks adorned with a thin sheen of frosting with dazzling gems of peppermint.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

If you love peppermint and chocolate, these cookie sticks will bring you bliss. But do heed a rather important warning.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

If the peppermint bits sit in the frosting for more than a day or so, they’ll actually melt. Seriously. It’s some kind of chemical reaction. Puddles of red goop everywhere.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

But here’s the thing: the sticks still taste fine if that happens! They just look like they stared at the Arc of the Covenant.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

So make a big ol’ jelly roll pan of these, and hold off on adding the peppermints adornments until soon before serving. Or put them on, and use it as a kind of science experiment.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

A very delicious experiment. Did I mention these were like shortbread sticks loaded with chocolate chips and slathered with frosting? Oh yeah. These are good.

Modified from Crazy for Crust at Challenge Dairy. 

 

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

These handy cookie sticks are loaded with holiday deliciousness with a perfect combination of chocolate chip shortbread, thin frosting, and crushed peppermints. Do note that the peppermint chunks will dissolve into the frosting if they sit there over a day or so, so add them just before serving.

  • Cookie Sticks
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk, cream, or half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup crushed candy canes or peppermints

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (10x15-inches) with foil and apply nonstick cooking spray all over the surface.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg and both extracts, followed by the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Add flour until just incorporated, then the chocolate chips.

Use your hands to press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until it's just starting to turn golden brown at the edges. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, cream butter until smooth. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until it starts to become crumbly, then add the salt and vanilla extract. Stir in 2 tablespoons of milk, then add more until it is spreadable consistency.

Use the foil to lift the cookie slab onto a cutting board. Use an uneven spatula to frost the full surface. Let the frosting set for a short while. Slice cookies into sticks.

DO NOT sprinkle crushed peppermints on until soon before serving--the candies will actually dissolve into the frosting after a day or so, which looks bad though they still taste fine.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

These handy cookie sticks are loaded with holiday deliciousness with a perfect combination of chocolate chip shortbread, thin frosting, and crushed peppermints. Do note that the peppermint chunks will dissolve into the frosting if they sit there over a day or so, so add them just before serving.

  • Cookie Sticks
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk, cream, or half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup crushed candy canes or peppermints

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (10x15-inches) with foil and apply nonstick cooking spray all over the surface.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg and both extracts, followed by the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Add flour until just incorporated, then the chocolate chips.

Use your hands to press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until it's just starting to turn golden brown at the edges. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, cream butter until smooth. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until it starts to become crumbly, then add the salt and vanilla extract. Stir in 2 tablespoons of milk, then add more until it is spreadable consistency.

Use the foil to lift the cookie slab onto a cutting board. Use an uneven spatula to frost the full surface. Let the frosting set for a short while. Slice cookies into sticks.

DO NOT sprinkle crushed peppermints on until soon before serving--the candies will actually dissolve into the frosting after a day or so, which looks bad though they still taste fine.

OM NOM NOM!

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