Posts by Beth

Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

Posted by on Dec 4, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

These Fruitcake Cookies turned out gorgeous AND delicious, but could’ve been a total disaster.

Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

I completely rewrote a base recipe for these cookies before I even got to the kitchen. Once I started combining ingredients, I realized I had a major problem.

Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

I had too little dough to hold my fruit and nuts. Uh oh! If I continued as planned, they would not be the slightest bit cohesive.

Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

So, I winged it. I added more flour, more brown sugar, another egg. The dough became cohesive. I baked the first batch. They stayed cohesive.

Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

Whew! The cookies were saved. Not only saved, but absolutely delicious. The combination of ingredients brings all the best elements of fruitcake without all the fuss.

Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

Want more fruitcake? Here’s my recipe for Mini Loaves–which wouldn’t be ripened by Christmas, unfortunately–and also another Fruitcake Cookies recipe, this one like oatmeal cookies. I also have a recipe for brownies that uses candied cherries¬†and one that uses candied orange peel in delicious scones. Keep in mind that a lot of fruitcake ingredients can be found for fabulous clearance prices after Christmas, so bake up these recipes in the new year! Good food shouldn’t be confined to one season.

Bready or Not Original: Fruitcake Cookies

The fruit listed in the ingredients is a suggestion. Customize these cookies however desired, to not exceed 2 1/2 cups. The result is a crisp, chewy cookie packed with fruit and nuts (but not too packed). Be sure to include the almond extract; that small amount adds some major oomph. Makes 40 cookies using a tablespoon scoop.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: cookies, holiday
Servings: 40
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried dates finely chopped
  • 1 cup candied cherries coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts and/or pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1/2 stick, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment.
  • Combine fruit and nuts with 1 cup of flour, coating everything. This will prevent the fruit from sinking as the cookies bake.
  • Cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars. Add the eggs with the vanilla and almond extract. Stir in the remaining flour with the baking soda and salt.
  • Stir in the fruit/nut/flour mixture until just combined.
  • Drop dough by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not Original: Cranberry-Orange Cookies

    Posted by on Nov 27, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

    These Cranberry-Orange Cookies are packed with vivid, fresh flavor, and a sure way to brighten your day, whatever the season!

    Bready or Not Original: Cranberry-Orange Cookies

    The order of ingredients is important here. You take one orange and zest and juice it. The zest goes straight into the dough, while the juice is used to soak the dried cranberries.

    Bready or Not Original: Cranberry-Orange Cookies

    Not only does this plump up the desiccated berries, but it naturally amplifies their flavor, too. The tartness becomes stronger, in perfect complement to the citrusy freshness.

    Bready or Not Original: Cranberry-Orange Cookies

    Then, you add two tablespoons of the juice to the dough. The rest, do whatever with. It’s mighty tasty to drink!

    Bready or Not Original: Cranberry-Orange Cookies

    The white chocolate chips add sporadic sweetness to balance the tartness, and it goes so well with the orange flavor, too.

    Bready or Not Original: Cranberry-Orange Cookies

    Plus, these cookies are downright pretty on a holiday tray, packed as a gift, or eaten whenever, all the year long!

    Bready or Not Original: Cranberry-Orange Cookies

    These cookies boast of an incredibly fresh, fruity flavor, with just enough white chocolate chips to balance the tartness of the dried cranberries. Recipe makes 36 cookies using a tablespoon scoop.
    Course: Dessert, Snack
    Keyword: chocolate, citrus, cookies
    Servings: 36 cookies
    Author: Beth Cato

    Ingredients

    • 1 orange
    • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
    • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, softened
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cups brown sugar packed
    • 1 egg
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 375-degrees.
    • Zest then juice the orange. Place dried cranberries in bowl and pour orange juice over them, stir, then set aside to soak
    • In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars. Add the egg. Stir in orange zest.
    • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually blend with butter mixture. Measure 2 tablespoons of orange juice from the bowl, and add to the dough. Drain off the rest of the orange juice (discard it or save it to drink) and add the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips to the dough. Combine.
    • Use a tablespoon scoop or spoon to space out dollops of dough on baking sheet; cookies will spread. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until cookies are golden and set. Let set on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to completely cool. Repeat with the next batch(es).
    • Store in a sealed container.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Forthcoming: a poem in THE BOOK OF DRAGONS next July

      Posted by on Nov 21, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

      This has been in the works for ages, but I’m still gobsmacked: I’ll have a poem in the hardcover, fully illustrated anthology The Book of Dragons edited by Jonathan Strahan, due out on July 7, 2020. The table of contents is like a full list of the best living authors in genre fiction… and then there’s me, like this.

      Every story and poem is illustrated by Rovina Cai, who just won the World Fantasy Award for best artist. The book will be a whopping 640 pages. I’m guessing this will be very much a treasury book to keep on a coffee table–beautiful to look and to read. Read the full announcement on the Barnes & Noble SFF Blog! Behold the authors involved!

      book of dragons

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      Bready or Not: British-Style Gingerbread

      Posted by on Nov 20, 2019 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, british, cake | 0 comments

      I adore famed British baker Mary Berry, one of the original judges on the Great British Bake Off. This British-Style Gingerbread recipe is modified from her cookbook Cooking with Mary Berry.

      Bready or Not: British-Style Gingerbread

      She has published a ton of cookbooks in the UK, but this particular cookbook has the measurements translated to American standards! Click on the picture below to order a copy for yourself–but maybe try my take on one of her recipes first, as it’s a great example of what you’ll find.

      I’ve eaten and baked a number of American-style gingerbread recipe. This one is different in a lot of ways. First of all, the cooking method. It’s prepared on the stovetop, then baked.

      Bready or Not: British-Style Gingerbread

      The end result is tall, spongy, and cakey, with a solid ginger kick. And like chocolate recipes, this gingerbread actually improves after a day, as the flavors become deeper and more complex. Almost coffee-like, though it contains no coffee.

      Bready or Not: British-Style Gingerbread

      Oh yeah, and it’s REALLY REALLY GOOD.

      Bready or Not: British-Style Gingerbread

      The sporadic candied ginger pieces throughout add vivid pops of flavor, in an already ginger-filled cake.

      Bready or Not: British-Style Gingerbread

      This would be especially good paired with tea, coffee, or a good, stout beer (Guinness, in particular, comes to mind).

       

      Bready or Not: British-Style Gingerbread

      This recipe, modified from Baking with Mary Berry, produces a British-style gingerbread cake that is spicier and more complex than the usual American gingerbread. The flavors deepens and improves after a day.
      Course: Breakfast, Snack
      Cuisine: British
      Keyword: cake, gingerbread
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 9x13 casserole pan

      Ingredients

      • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks
      • 1 cup brown sugar light or dark, packed
      • 1 cup molasses
      • 3 cups all-purpose flour
      • 5 teaspoons ground ginger
      • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
      • 2 large eggs
      • 3 pieces candied ginger coarsely chopped
      • 1 1/4 cups milk
      • 2 teaspoons baking soda

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line baking pan with aluminum and apply butter or nonstick spray.
      • In a large pot, warm the butter, sugar, and molasses until it is combined and smooth. Set aside to cool.
      • Mix the flour and spices into the big pot, followed by the eggs and the candied ginger pieces.
      • In a small saucepan, warm the milk--don't boil! Add the baking soda. Pour into the gingerbread mixture and mix together.
      • Pour everything into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour. When done, it will be spongy to the touch and pass the toothpick test in the middle.
      • Let cool in pan, either at room temperature or in the fridge. Once cool, use the foil to lift onto a cutting board and slice into bars.
      • Store in a covered dish with waxed paper or parchment between the layers. Flavor will grow deeper and more complex over the next day.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        2019 Works for Award Consideration

        Posted by on Nov 18, 2019 in awards, Blog | 0 comments

        The end of the year is nigh. Time for a retrospective with the vain hope that I might garner some award nominations from my fellow writers.

        Short stories

        The major story I’m promoting for awards is “The Blighted Godling of Company Town H” published at Beneath Ceaseless Skies #268 the very first week of 2019. It can be read online and is also available for free in podcast form, read by Tina Connolly.

        My other new stories this year include:
        “Consider the Monsters” in Diabolical Plots;
        “The Wind Knows All” in Nature
        – “By Footpad and Clenched Paw” in Monarchies of Mau: Tales of Excellent Cats available in PDF and print at DriveThruFiction and in ebook at Amazon
        “Clouds Gleam Across Her Eyes” in Daily Science Fiction
        – Letter Z in F is for Fairy
        “A Picture is Worth” in Nature
        “The Peculiar Gravity of Home” in Future SF Issue 2; available in print and ebook
        – “Awaken My Bones Old and New” in Gorgon: Stories of Emergence


        Poetry

        If you’re a member of SFPA and reading works for consideration for the Rhysling and Dwarf Stars, please keep these poems in mind–but most of all, this first one, which is a dream publication for me!

        – “My Ghost Will Know the Way” in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction #744 July/August 2019

        – “Old Coyote” in Eye to the Telescope Issue 34: Tricksters
        “A Purring Cat is a Time Machine,” “Dollar Store Monsters,” and “Drought and Dryad” in Daikaijuzine
        “These Rocks, This Soul” in Sycorax Journal issue 3
        – “Stranger Danger” in Star*Line 42.3
        “Consequences of a Stolen Star” in Kaleidotrope
        “Childhood Memory from the Old Victorian House on Warner” in Uncanny Magazine #27

        #SFWAPro

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