Thursday, December 11, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway with Dana Bate!


One of the things I love best about my job is that I get to connect with other writers.  And while I adore my peeps regardless of genre, it is always very special when I can meet a writer in my strange little specific genre of foodie fiction!  So when I was introduced to Dana Bate and her work, it was extra special.  I've been fortunate enough to be able to blurb both of Dana's charming books, The Girl's Guide to Love and Supper Clubs, and the brand new A Second Bite at the Apple.  I just loved both of these books, and thought it would be a fun celebration of the holiday spirit to let Dana take over the blog today and share a recipe from the book and offer a giveaway of a signed copy of A Second Bite at the Apple!  Take it away, Dana...

Many thanks to Stacey for letting me take over her blog for the day!

So today I want to talk about holiday treats. Specifically: brownies.

For a lot of people, the holiday season means cookies: cookies as gifts, cookies as decorations, cookies as a primary form of sustenance.

I should preface what I’m about to write by saying I love cookies. Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, thumbprint, molasses, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin – I’m pretty sure I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.

But here’s the thing: cookies are a time suck. The dough is easy to throw together, sure, but the rolling, the cutting, the scooping, the waiting between batches – it can take a while. And if you are short on time, you may rue the decision to bake those adorable windowpane sandwich cookies.

Brownies, however, are a different story. Brownies take mere minutes to throw together, and then you pour the batter in the pan, stick the pan in the oven, and about 30 minutes later, you are finito señorito.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to make plain, old brownies. You want something special, especially this time of year. I have just the ticket: salted fudge brownies.

I have made this recipe countless times, and people always rave. And the best part? They are dead easy. Easy, impressive, and delicious: sounds like a recipe for success to me.

I like these brownies so much that I even mention them in my second book, A SECOND BITE AT THE APPLE – a book that Stacey not only blurbed but has also offered to give to one lucky reader! All you have to do is comment below with your favorite cookie or brownie recipe, and you could soon be the owner of a signed copy!  Submit comments by 11:59 pm CST Monday, and winner will be announced Tuesday!

Salted Fudge Brownies by Kate Krader from Food and Wine Magazine

  1. 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  2. 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  3. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  4. 2 cups sugar
  5. 3 large eggs
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  7. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch square metal cake pan with foil, draping the foil over the edges. Lightly butter the foil.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Whisking them in one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, add the cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the salt into the batter.
  3. Bake the fudge brownies in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with a little of the batter. Let the brownies cool at room temperature in the pan for 1 hour, then refrigerate just until they are firm, about 1 hour. Lift the brownies from the pan and peel off the foil. Cut the brownies into 16 squares. Serve at room temperature.


  1. MOLASSES SPICE COOKIES - Parade Magazine

    2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

    1 3/4 tsp Baking Soda

    2 tsp Ginger

    1 tsp Cinnamon

    1/2 tsp Salt

    1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter - Softened (not melted)

    3/4 cup Brown Sugar

    1/2 cup Molasses - NOT Blackstrap

    1 Large Egg

    Turbinado Sugar or Granulated Sugar for rolling

    1. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, spices & salt. In large bowl beat together butter, sugar and molasses until blended. Add the egg & beat one more minute. Beat in flour mixture until you have a soft dough.

    2. Divide dough in half, wrap & freeze for 30 minutes.

    3. Preheat oven to 350*

    4. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into balls & roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool on rack.

    Well wrapped frozen dough keeps for 3 months in freezer.

  2. I've been making the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Nestle toll house bag since I was a kid and it's always a big hit. Sub half of the semi sweet chips with butterscotch chips and they are even better.

  3. Sounds yummy!

    This is my favorite cookie recipe:

  4. I don't bake, but I wanted to say that I love your recipe. 😊

  5. Mmmm! When I crave cookies, it's peanut butter cookies:

    Peanut Butter Cookies 375 oven


    • 1/2 C. butter
    • ½ C. shortening
    • 1 C. each white and brown sugar
    • 1 t. vanilla
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 C. peanut butter
    • 3 C. flour
    • 2 t. baking soda
    • ½ t. salt


    Preheat oven to 375. Beat together wet ingredients; add peanut butter, mix. Stir in dry ingredients. Chill 1 hour. Roll into small balls, roll in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, press down with fork to form criss-cross. Bake 10 minutes; move to rack to cool.
    (These are also great to top with a Hershey's Kiss, to make Peanut Butter Blossoms)

  6. This is my all favorite brownie recipe! Amazing

  7. My favorite cookies/biscotti are ANise flavored shortbread.

    2 cups butter, softened
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 bottle anise flavoring

    In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add Anise flavoring then Add 3-3/4 cups flour and mix well. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
    Roll to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut into 3-in. x 1-in. strips. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick with fork. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

  8. Peanut Blossoms
    1 3/4 C. Flour
    1/2 C. Sugar
    1/2 C. Brown sugar, pack firm
    1 t. Baking soda
    1/2 t. Salt
    1/2 C. Peanut butter
    1/2 C. Shortening
    2 T. Milk
    1 t. Vanilla
    1 egg
    48 Hershey Kisses
    Extra sugar for coating

    Heat oven to 375. In large bowl combine everything except kisses. Mix on low until stiff dough forms. Shape into 1" balls and roll is extra sugar. Place 2" apart on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately top each cookie with a kiss, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edges.

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  10. My favorite recipe of all time; I even won 1st place when I made this as a child in a cook off contest.

    Pecan Pie Tarts

    Original recipe makes 30 tarts

    6 ounces cream cheese
    1 cup butter, softened
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 3/4 cups chopped pecans


    1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
    2.Grease 30 tart tins or muffin cups and set aside.
    3.To Make Crust: In a medium mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and 1 cup butter until light and fluffy. Blend in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, forming a smooth dough. Roll into 30 equal balls and press one into each greased tin so it lines the bottom and sides, like a pie crust.
    4.To Make Filling: In a medium mixing bowl cream together 1/4 cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Stir in pecans. Fill each lined tin half full. Mixture will rise as it bakes.
    5.Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool in tins, then use the end of a table knife to flip each tart out of its tin.


    Kathy J

  11. This is my favorite brownie recipe.

  12. I adore these little thumbprint cookies with white chocolate and raspberry jam in the middle. They always look so impressive and are really so simple to make :).

  13. These sound delicious ~ I really enjoy baking, but we mostly make cutout or gingerbread cookies. For a chocolate and sugar bomb, I love this recipe from AllRecipes:

    Chocolate crinckles
    1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 cups white sugar
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    4 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

    1. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. I like to use a number 50 size scoop. Coat each ball in confectioners' sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

  14. These are my favorite (and my husband's and my mother's!):

    Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies

    1-3/4 cups Flour
    1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
    ½ tsp Baking Powder
    ½ tsp Salt
    1 cup (2 sticks) Butter, softened
    1 cup Sugar
    ½ cup Brown Sugar
    1 Egg
    1 tsp Vanilla
    2 cups White Chocolate Chips
    ¾ cup dried Cranberries

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in small bowl; set aside.

    Beat butter, 1 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture at low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chunks and cranberries.

    Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Flatten dough with bottom of glass.

    Bake 11 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely.