Being a teacher, I have always known and understood the importance of reading and I do read, but until a few months ago, it consisted mostly of cookbooks, magazines, or news articles. So, while taking a master’s class a few years ago, I was searching for a book that would hold my interest and I was introduced to an author who wrote murder mystery novels. Big deal, right? There are thousands of murder mystery authors out there. Well, that’s what I thought until I found out these books were also food related. Cha-ching! The main character in the books just happened to own a cookie shop! (For those who don’t know me well, it has always been a life-long dream of mine to own a cookie shop, so this book definitely peaked my interest!)
So, the author’s name was Joanne Fluke and the book was Strawberry Shortcake Murder. I read the book and even made one of the recipes to take to my teacher and classmates during my master’s class….hey, I know food is always a good bribe! And thus began my interest in the food related murder mystery novels.
Recently, my brain started itching for some new stories to read before bedtime and I decided to read the first book by Joanne Fluke, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. The only problem was, I had loaned the book to my mom and it was checked out at the local library. So, I spoke with the library and found another author who also writes food related mystery books, Diane Mott Davidson. I read Crunch Time, her newest novel, and was completely hooked. That reading is what gave me the idea to start the Monday’s Mystery Recipe series. You see, each novel includes recipes that the main character, Goldy, a caterer, makes during her catering events. Some are sweet and some are savory and I’m excited to begin trying them out in my own kitchen!
Starting today, and each Monday hereafter, I’m going to post a recipe from the novel I’m currently reading. I will try to include any adjustments I make to the recipes, but for the most part, will post the original recipes. I will not be posting each and every recipe from the books. I don’t think the author would appreciate that much and neither would I. I do hope that this series inspires you to pick up a good book a engage yourself in a little more reading. After all, it’s fun to get lost in someone else’s world every now and then.
The first recipe I’m going to share in my Monday’s Mystery Recipe is Crunch Time Cookies from the book, Crunch Time, by Diane Mott Davidson .
January 2nd, 2012
Crunch Time Cookies
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned oats)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup toffee pieces (I used Heath bits)
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread 1 cup of chopped pecans even on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes, or until toasted. Remove and let cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until creamy. Add the brown sugar and mix well. Add the granulated sugar and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add vanilla.
Using a wooden spoon or large rubber scraper, stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, nuts, and toffee pieces, stirring until just mixed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours to overnight. (I chilled my dough overnight.)
Let the dough warm slightly (I allowed 20 minutes) before scooping dough out with a cookie scoop. Place cookies at least 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and bake in 375° oven for 9-11 minutes. (I had to bake mine for 15 minutes.)
Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 4-5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before packaging. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Cookies will be fairly thin. I wasn't used to this look, but they tasted great and the hubby approved, so happy baking!