Posts made in December, 2017

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, mint | Comments Off on Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

If you want a treat that is decadent, gorgeous, and loaded with peppermint, bake this up.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

But once you put the peppermint bits on, eat them within a few hours. That’s right, this recipe has the same issue as the Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks a few weeks ago.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

See that picture above? That’s what the peppermint does, melting to look like stained glass. It’s a purely cosmetic issue; the bars still taste fine and the peppermint even retains a slight crunch.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

The solution to this is pretty easy, though. Add the peppermint bits right before serving, or just omit them. Or be prepared to eat them with oozy peppermint on top, as they’ll still taste fine!

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

With that disclaimer done, I can say these things taste absolutely delicious. I mean, hello, blondies topped with cream cheese frosting! These are practically a cake.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

Modified from County Living, December 2015.


Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

These blondies deliver sheer holiday decadence! Peppermint, white chocolate, and cream cheese frosting work together in a glorious way. Do note that the crushed peppermint bits will melt after a few hours, regardless of the temperature at which the bars are kept. They'll still taste fine, but they don't look as pretty!
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: bars, chocolate, cream cheese, mint
Author: Beth Cato



  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cup white chocolate chips 1 bag


  • 16 ounces cream cheese 2 boxes
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup peppermints crushed


  • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Apply nonstick spray or butter to an aluminum foil-lined 9x13 baking pan.
  • Beat together butter, both sugars, eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and peppermint extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Stir the dry mix into the butter mix. Add the chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  • Bake until golden brown and the middle passes the toothpick test, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan on rack until room temperature, or place in fridge to chill.
  • When the blondie base is no longer hot, beat together the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until they are light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Spread frosting over blondies. Freeze for 30 minutes or chill in fridge for several hours to set.
  • Add crushed peppermints just before serving. NOTE: after a few hours, the peppermints will melt, regardless of the temperature of the bars. It looks weird, but tastes the same, even retaining a slight crunch. Other than that, the bars keep fine in the fridge for at least 5 days.


Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

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New Publications for December 2017

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in anthology:poem, anthology:story, Blog, podcast | Comments Off on New Publications for December 2017

Life hasn’t been kind the past while, and I’ve fallen behind on posting my latest publications. My Bibliography page is now up to date; these are the new additions:

“Powers of Observation,” Nature

“Wayfaring King,” Star*line 40.4

Toasted Cake 155: So You Have Been Claimed by a Magical Cat by Beth Cato (original story)
Storypunks Podcast #4: Interview with Beth Cato
Archivos Brainstorm with Guest Host Beth Cato
Archivos Insights Podcast: Interview with Beth Cato


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Sunday Quote ponders gifts

Posted by on Dec 10, 2017 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote ponders gifts

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
~ William Styron, Conversations with William Styron

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Giftmas Guest Post: Jennifer Lee Rossman on Shining a Light and SAD

Posted by on Dec 8, 2017 in Blog, giftmas | Comments Off on Giftmas Guest Post: Jennifer Lee Rossman on Shining a Light and SAD

Giftmas 2017


Rhonda Parrish, editor of Mrs. Claus, has put together this Giftmas blog swap to raise money for the Edmonton Food Bank.

She’s also organized a Rafflecopter giveaway filled with great prizes (including custom cross stitch by yours truly).

This year’s theme is “Shine a Light.”

It’s winter, which means long, dark days for us in the northern hemisphere. Around this time of year, Seasonal Affective Disorder can start to depress us.

Less natural light, more isolation from family during what’s supposed to be a time of gathering and joy… it’s no wonder a lot of people feel hopeless.

Maybe I’m the odd one out, but I’ve always found winter to be the most beautiful, hopeful season. Snow clinging to trees in the moonlight, getting to snuggle under the blankets with a cat and watch football…

The world is stripped of color and life and everything seems bleak, but I see it as more of a blank slate so we can get a chance to start again in spring.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jennifer Lee Rossman is a science fiction geek from Oneonta, New York, where she cross stitches, watches Doctor Who, and threatens to run over people with her wheelchair. Her work has been featured in Circuits & Slippers, Syntax & Salt, and Cast of Wonders. Follow her blog and her Twitter account.

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Through the Fog: A Giftmas 2017 Blog Post to Benefit the Edmonton Food Bank

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 in Blog, giftmas | 2 comments

Giftmas 2017

Rhonda Parrish has organized the Giftmas Blog Tour to benefit the Edmonton Food Bank. You can also enter to win loads of prizes! Scroll down to find a Rafflecopter giveaway.

The theme of Giftmas this year is to “Shine a Light.” Therefore, I am sharing a memory of foggy darkness… and the light of home that awaits.

I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California, a broad swath of terrain that was once grassland and marshes, now converted to agriculture. Each winter, a phenomenon called tule fog occurs often from November through February. Think of horror movies that feature fog–a completely impenetrable cloud where the world ceases to exist beyond five feet, where driving at night requires that a car door be held ajar so that the driver can follow the painted lines directly below.

The fog is at its worst soon after a rain, though it can happen any time through the winter, as the land remembers it once was swamp and radiates moisture. The fog often lingers into the morning, too. When I went to school, I never experienced a snow day, but I often had foggy day schedule, where school didn’t start until about 10am. Sometimes the fog was still awful at that time, too. Those are the kinds of days where people avoid driving, if they have any choice. Car accidents are inevitable. Every few years, there are disastrous pile-ups on I-5 or Highway 99, some involving as many as a hundred cars.

As a child, the fog both awed and terrified me. Driving through it was the stuff of nightmares. The car rolling along at a mere ten miles an hour, Christmas lights and street lights nonexistent. Hoping that no one was walking in the fog, that no cars flew at us out of the ether.

Waiting, praying, for the faint lights of home to glimmer at the end of the driveway.

Home felt especially welcoming on those cold, isolating, foggy nights. It provided a refuge where my heart could resume a placid rhythm, where I could warm myself by a crackling fire. Where I was safe, supper awaiting in a hot crockpot.

Not everyone has that refuge, that hot food to await them after the strain of the day. That’s why I’m asking for you to contribute to the Giftmas fundraiser–and to your local charities, too. Everyone everywhere needs some help and hope. We need that faint light that penetrates the fog.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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