by Joanne Fluke,
Laura Levine & Leslie Meier
This week we have another fun recipe from a Kensington cozy mystery, this one from Gingerbread Cookie Murder By Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine & Leslie Meier. Enjoy the recipe for Gingerbread Cookies, check out the synopsis of the book, and enter to win a copy of Gingerbread Cookie Murder! In this same issue we also have another recipe, this one from Isis Crawford’s book A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange, and a giveaway of that book as well.
Gingerbread Cookie Murder By Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine & Leslie Meier
Nothing’s better on Christmas Eve than waiting for the stroke of midnight with a cup of eggnog and a plate of warm gingerbread cookies. But in this merry collection of holiday mysteries, murder is making its own special delivery…
“Gingerbread Cookie Murder” By Joanne Fluke.
When Hannah Swensen finds her neighbor Ernie Kusak with his head bashed in and sprawled on the floor of his condo next to an upended box of Hannah’s Gingerbread Cookies, she discovers a flurry of murder suspects that’s as long as her holiday shopping list.
“The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies” by Laura Levine.
Jaine Austen has been enlisted to help with her parents’ retirement community’s play The Gingerbread Cookie That Saved Christmas. Playboy Dr. Preston McCay is playing the role of the gingerbread cookie when he “”accidentally”” falls to his death during the final act. Now Jaine must figure out if one of the doctor’s jealous lovers was capable of murder.
“Gingerbread Cookies and Gunshots” by Leslie Meier.
When Lucy Stone discovers the body of Rick Juergens, whose five-year-old son Nemo disappeared, she senses foul play. Crumbs from a gingerbread cookie Lucy gave to Nemo are found in the back seat of Rick’s car. As the hours quickly tick toward Christmas, Lucy races against the clock to find a killer before he strikes again.
Perfect for that special someone on your list or just for yourself, these intriguing mysteries will make the holidays shine brighter…includes luscious holiday recipes!
Taken from Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke; Laura Levine; Leslie Meier
** DO NOT Preheat over – this dough must chill overnight.
Sally makes these for the Christmas buffet at The Lake Eden Inn, Hannah’s notes are bolded.
1 cup softened, salted butter (2 sticks, ½ pound, 8 ounces)
1 cup white (granulated) sugar
½ cup hot strong coffee
2/3 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 and ½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves (I’m not fond of cloves so I leave this out)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour (don’t sift it – pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
In a large bowl, mix the softened butter with the white sugar.
Add the half-cup of strong coffee and then stir in the dark molasses.
Mix in the baking soda, salt, ground ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon. Stir well.
Add the flour in half-cup increments, mixing after each addition. Give everything a final stir and then cover your bowl with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning when you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F., rack in the middle position.
Divide the dough into four parts for ease in rolling. Roll out the first part of the dough on a floured board. If you plan to use gingerbread men or reindeer shaped cookie cutters, roll your dough out to ¼ inch thick. (Arms and legs tend to snap off when you frost them if they’re rolled too thin.) Otherwise roll your dough out to 1/8 inch thick.
Dip the cookie cutters in flour and cut out cookies getting as many as you can from the sheet of dough. Use a metal spatula to remove the cookies from the rest of the sheet of dough and place them on an UNGREASED cookie sheet. Leave at least an inch and a half between cookies.
Once you’ve cut out your cookies, there will be leftover dough. You can gather it into a ball, re-flour the board and re-roll it. (I’ve done this up to three times – the fourth time the dough got too stuff to roll well.)
If you want to use colored sugar or sprinkles to decorate, put it on now, before baking and press it down just a bit with your fingers or with the spatula. If you’d rather frost the cookies, wait until they’re baked and completely cooled.
Bake ¼ inch thick cookies at 375 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes. Leave them on the sheet for a minute or two and then transfer them to a wire rack to complete cooling.
Bake 1/8 inch thick cookies at 375 degrees F. for 8 to 10 minutes. Leave them on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and then transfer them to a wire rack to complete cooling.
If You Hate To Roll Out Cookies:
You don’t absolutely have to roll out these cookies. Take your dough out of the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., and get out a nice sturdy teaspoon. (We use a 2-teaspoon scooper at The Cookie Jar.)
Put approximately a half-cup of white sugar in a bowl. You’ll be making dough balls and rolling the cookies in the sugar before placing them on the baking sheet.
Lightly grease your cookie sheet or spray it with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray.
Scoop out some cookie dough and make dough balls about the size of walnuts with your fingers. Roll the balls in the sugar and then place them on the cookie sheet, 12 to a standard-size sheet.
Flatten the dough balls with the smooth bottoms of a drinking glass, the blade of a metal spatula, or your impeccably clean hands. Make sure they’re no thicker than ¼ inch.
Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F., for no more than 8 minutes. (You don’t want them as hard as rocks.) Remove them from the oven, let them cool on the sheet for a minute, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can frost all three types of these cookies if you wish, even the ones that were made from dough balls dipped in sugar. You can use your own favorite frosting.
To enter to win a copy of Gingerbread Cookie Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “gingerbread,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 12, 2015. 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 & short stories in our mystery section.