Recipes From Mystery Authors Joanne Fluke & Staci McLaughlin/Giveaways

Feb 13, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Food Fun, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Joanne Fluke
& Staci McLaughlin

This week we have recipes from Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke and Murder Most Wholesome by Staci McLaughlin. At the end of this post are details on how to win copies of both books!

From: Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

Orange Cookie Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 cup cold salted butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 1/2 pound)
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar (no need to sift, unless it’s got big lumps)

Orange Filling:
4 beaten eggs (just whip them up in a glass with a fork)book
2 cups white (granulated) sugar
1/4 cup orange juice (I used Minute Maid)
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I used Triple Sec)
1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (pack it down when you measure it)

Extra powdered (confectioners)sugar to sprinkle on top

Hannah’s 1st Note: Orange zest is the finely grated peel from an orange. Use just the colored part. The white is bitter. One orange will yield approximately 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest and that’s enough for this recipe.

To make the Crust:

Place the 2 cups of flour in the bowl of a food processor.
Cut each stick of butter into eight pieces. Place them on top of the flour.
Sprinkle the 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest on top of the butter.
Sprinkle the powdered sugar on top of the orange zest.
Process with the steel blade in an on-and-off motion until the resulting mixture looks like coarse cornmeal.

Prepare a 9-inch by 13-inch rectangular cake pan by spraying it with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, for even easier removal, line the cake pan with heavy-duty foil and spray that with Pam.

(Then all you have to do is lift them out of the pan, peel off the foil, and cut them up into pieces.)
Spread the crust mixture out in the prepared pan and pat it down with your impeccably clean hands.
Then use a metal spatula to even it out and make it smooth on top.

Get ready to put your crust in the oven. You will prepare the Orange Filling while your crust is baking.

Bake the crust at 350 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s golden around the edges. When it’s baked, you will be removing the pan from the oven and pouring on the filling you’ll make, so don’t turn off the oven until both the crust and the filling are baked!

Hannah’s 2nd Note: If your butter is a bit too soft when you make the crust, you may end up with a mass that balls up and clings to the food processor bowl. That’s okay. Just scoop it up and spread it out in the bottom of your prepared pan.

Hannah’s 3rd Note: Don’t wash your food processor quite yet. You’ll need it to make the orange filling. (The same applies to your bowl and fork if you made the crust by hand.)

To make the Orange Filling:

Combine the eggs with the white sugar (You can use your food processor and the steel blade to do this, or you can do it by hand in a bowl.)

Add the orange juice, orange zest, orange liqueur, orange extract (if you decided to use it), salt, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.

Add the flour and mix until everything is incorporated.
(This mixture will be runny and it’s supposed to be.)

When your crust is baked, remove the pan from the oven and set it on a cold stove top burner or a wire rack.
Remember, don’t shut off the oven! Just leave it on at 350 degrees F.

Pour the orange filling you just made on top of the crust you just baked. Let it sit on the cold stove burner for a full 5 minutes. (This helps the filling stick to the crust.)

When the 5 minutes are up, use potholders to pick up the pan and return it to the oven. Bake your Orange Dreamsicle Bar Cookies for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and cool your bar cookies in the pan on a cold stove top burner or a wire rack. When the pan has cooled to room temperature, sprinkle some of your extra powdered sugar on top.

Cover your pan with foil and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. Then take it out of the refrigerator, sprinkle the top with more powdered sugar, and cut your Orange Dreamsicle Bars into brownie-sized pieces. Place them on a pretty platter, and serve them with plenty of hot, strong coffee or tall glasses of milk.

Hannah’s 4th Note: If you would prefer not to use alcohol in these bar cookies, simply substitute another 1/4 cup of orange juice for the orange liqueur. That’s what Lisa and I do at The Cookie Jar. This recipe works both ways and I can honestly tell you that I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like Orange Dreamsicle Bar Cookies!

From: Murder Most Wholesome by Staci McLaughlin


It’s Esther here, giving you my favorite lemon curd recipe. First, take a vegetable peeler and remove the zest of three lemons, making sure not to get any white pith in the mix. Put the zest in a blender or food processor with a cup of sugar (more if you like things on the sweeter side) and pulse it together until the zest is all minced

Then cream one stick (eight tablespoons) of butter that’s been sitting out at room temperature, and mix in the lemon and sugar mixture. Once every- thing is nice and creamy, add four eggs, one at a time. Squeeze in the juice from those three lemons (watch the seeds!), and mix everything together.

Pour the concoction into a small saucepan and warm on low heat, making sure to stir constantly, until the curd starts to thicken. This usually takes ten minutes, but can sometimes take longer. Once the curd thickens, remove it from the heat. It will keep thickening as it cools. You can store any left- overs in the refrigerator, but considering how good this stuff is, you may not have any!

To enter to win a copy of Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke and Murder Most Wholesome by Staci McLaughlin, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “recipes,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 20, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.


  1. They look great; thanks for the chance to win 🙂
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  2. Yum, now I’m hungry! The recipes look amazing and I’m going to have to try them out.
    I would love to win these two books. Thanks for the chance.

  3. I have entered by email, but am commenting in support of KRL contests and this book review and giveaway. I am a big fan of Joanna Fluke’s Hannah Swenson Mysteries, and greatly enjoy the clever mystery and characters, the wonderful recipes, and the follow up to her books as movies on the Hallmark Movie Channel. I am new to Staci MacLaughlin’s books, but excited to explore her recipes, too.

  4. Yum – wonderful recipes!

  5. I would love to win your books! Thanks so much for the chance and Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

  6. Great recipes, like books with recipes included in the book. I’m sure I would enjoy reading both of these books.

  7. Love Joann Fluke’s books. I’m already hooked on those. I’ve not read Staci McLaughlin’s book yet, but I’m already drawn in by the cover. I love it, and yes I’m one of those who looks at the covers and thinks yup, I’m gonna like this book.

  8. Double Fudge Brownie Murder sounds like a wonderful read (with chocolate!). Thank you for the giveaway.

  9. Books with recipes are gold mines.

  10. I love these recipies, and want to try the Limon curd especialky. Books with recipes are the BEST.

  11. I am a big fan of JoAnn Fluke will have to start reading Staci Mclaughlin now. Recipes look amazing. Everything my daughters and I have baked from the Hannah Swenson books have been easy and delicious!

  12. Thank you so much for the lemon curd recipe! I’d much rather make my own than buy it from the store.

  13. Can’t wait to try these! Love your books Joanne!

  14. Delicious and easy recipes sound really good. Thanks for the chance to win.

  15. The recipes look so good. i love reading all Joanne Flukes books
    Mary from Pittsburgh, PA

  16. Love mystery books with recipes!! Love all the Hannah books.. Haven’t read the other one yet….

  17. Cooking cozies – what could be better?!?!?

  18. Love the Joanne Fluke books, I’m on #5. Now I will have to teu Staci McLaughlin’s books.

  19. I have read every one of Joanne’s Hannah series. She is my favorite author and I wait patiently for her next book to come.

  20. Love your books!!! The recipes are always a hit at our house. Thank you for the chance to win your books!

  21. These recipes sound great! Would love to win!

  22. Absolutely love Joanne Fluke. Her writing is very entertaining, and recipes delicious. I would love to get to know Staci McLaughlin. This would be a great opportunity to do so. Thank you.

  23. ssgyoutube @ gmail dot com

  24. Haven’t read any of Ms. McLaughlin’s books, but would like to. Always enjoy Ms. Fluke’s, since the first one which she promoted at the LA Times Festival of Books by giving out Chocolate Chip Cookies.

  25. Oh i love her books

  26. Have to try recipe. Have oranges so hope they will be great.
    It sounds like it could be a favorite. Thank you

  27. I’ve copied so many recipes I’ve found in cozy mysteries and I’m not sure I ever followed through and made one.

  28. Both recipes sound yummy!

  29. Both recipes sound terrific; the opportunity to win the books sounds even better!!

  30. All my favorites–chocolate and lemon! Thanks for the chance to win!

  31. Both of these sounds interesting – thank you for the opportunity to win! Anything chocolate is speaking my language!

  32. We have a winner!


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