Showing posts with label bar cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bar cookies. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Raspberry Danish Murder Reviewed

A Culinary Cozy Mystery

Raspberry Danish Anyone?
Image courtesy of pixabay.com
I recently read Raspberry Danish Murder and wanted to review it for you today. This book happens to be number 22 in the Hannah Swenson Mystery series. Written by Joanne Fluke and published by Kensington Books this is a mystery that could almost pass as a cookbook.

I am a little confused by the title. Certainly, raspberry danish is mentioned early in the book and there is a recipe for the danish but beyond that it wasn't mentioned again and I don't see the relevance to the mystery or the murder. Just an observation on my part. Although, I guess after 21 other books in the series it might have gotten tough to come up with new titles.



A Short Synopsis of Raspberry Danish Murder

Hannah Swenson lives in the small Minnesota town of Lake Eden. She co-owns a cookie and coffee shop called The Cookie Jar. The story opens in November when people are getting ready for Thanksgiving and the Christmas season. We find out early in the book that Hannah is a newlywed but the problem is her new husband Ross has disappeared. Ross works or worked for a local television station and just left one day without his belongings or even his car. Hannah and her family keep hoping that he will return with a logical explanation any day now. In the meantime, Hannah has a cookie business to run and a whole lot of cookies to bake for the upcoming holiday season.

Hannah has some help in searching for her missing husband from the local law enforcement and her husband's assistant P.K. There is something about P.K. He is covering for his missing boss and trying to find clues as to where he can be but he has also taken over Ross's office and ends up driving his car when his has to go into the shop for repairs. No one seems to be able to discover where Ross has gone and then P.K. ends up dead after eating some candy that was sent to the office for Ross. Was the candy meant for the missing Ross or did someone plan to kill P.K?


My Review of this Cozy Mystery


I enjoyed the book, the mystery part. I mentioned earlier that it could almost pass as a cookbook. At first I enjoyed having recipes for cookies, pastries and savory dishes after the chapters they were mentioned in. After a while, I almost found it annoying. Don't get me wrong, the recipes sounded pretty good and the formatting of the pages was clever but goodness gracious they started to get in the way of finding out what was happening in the actual story. Personally, I feel that the recipes could have been included but perhaps a little note that states the recipe can be found at the back of the book instead of after every chapter. They would be easy to reference in a paperback but in an ebook they would be difficult to go back to after reading the book.

The mystery, itself, was well written and intriguing. I loved the characters and the different events that transpired, the solution to the murder and the explanation about Ross. Although, the Ross situation needs a whole lot more words. My guess is it will be addressed in the next book. This book stands alone quite well but I think I might enjoy reading the earlier books for the backstories on many of the characters. 

All in all it is a very good mystery and I think you will enjoy it. You might not have a problem with all of those recipes. Frankly, I like to put a recipe or two in my own books but they are always at the back and hopefully non-intrusive. I also enjoy seeing recipes in books but I prefer them at the back and as a little bonus but I don't need tons of them. If I want a cookie cookbook, I'll buy one. When I buy a Cozy Mystery...well, I want a mystery. I got one and it was a good one, I just didn't appreciate all those extra pages of cooking tips. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, December 5, 2016

Easy Snickerdoodle Cookie Pie Recipe Review

I have always loved Snickerdoodle cookies. I remember eating them as a child, growing up in Amish country. I love eating fresh baked goods - cookies, breads, and pies. Unfortunately, I have very little time to spend in the kitchen so I am always looking for tasty shortcuts. This is a super fast, easy, and delicious way to bake something we call Snickerdoodle Cookie Pie.


Why and How I Make Snickerdoodle Cookie Pie


I regularly bake brownies (from a box mix, of course). Brownies from a box are quick, easy, and fairly fool-proof. Even for me. I love eating cookies, but because I'm fairly lazy in the kitchen I rarely bake cookies. After all, dropping cookies onto sheet after sheet and having to be attentive to the oven every few minutes seems like a lot of work to me. I end up burning more cookies than I bake successfully. Because of these tendencies, I thought I'd try to make bar cookies using Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle cookie mix. 

I have used the different Betty Crocker cookie mixes and have found every single one tasty and dependable. I know what I am getting when I buy this brand of cookie mix. I recommend this cookie mix for folks like me who aren't very talented in the kitchen. Or for people who have minimal time for baking.

After experimenting with a 8" square baking dish and just one pack of cookie mix, I then experimented with a 10 1/2" round baking dish and two packs of cookie mix. I do like the 8" baking dish with one package of peanut butter cookie mix (just follow the directions) but for the Snickerdoodles, I prefer the round dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle cookie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 T water
  • only 1 of the packs of cinnamon (included with each cookie mix package)
  • optional - crystal sugar sprinkles

also:
  • Baking dish 10 1/2" round and at least 1" deep baking dish
  • non-stick cooking spray

Step-by-Step directions:

pre-heat oven to 375 
set butter in dish and warm to room temperature



set the cinnamon packs aside

add cookie mix (both packages) to the bowl
add eggs and water

mix together



lightly grease the bottom of the baking dish

sprinkle approximately 1/4 of one of the cinnamon packs in the bottom of the baking dish




drop the cookie dough by large spoonfuls into the dish flatten/spread slightly

(the dough is very thick. Trying to pour then spread is only successful in pulling the cinnamon up from the bottom of the dish)




sprinkle the cinnamon remaining in one packet on the top

(you can choose to use both cinnamon packets, but I prefer less cinnamon. I simply save the extra packet for use on toast or oatmeal)



optional - during the holidays I use red and green crystal sugar in addition to the cinnamon




bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes

test for doneness with a toothpick or small wooden skewer
when the skewer pulls out clean, bake for an additional few minutes

(I bake for an additional 5 minutes. If you end baking as soon as the skewer comes out clean, your cookie pie will be doughy in the center.)




cool, slice and serve

can be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream




Notes:

You will need to adjust the length of baking time for your oven, elevation, and preference. I prefer my cookie pie to be a bit on the doughy or under-cooked side. You may prefer yours cooked through a bit more. 

As I was preparing this article I noticed that the Betty Crocker Peanut Butter cookie mix is less expensive in Amazon's Prime Fresh category than it is at my local stores. Be sure to check out the lower prices if you are an Amazon Prime and Prime Fresh member.







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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