With the holidays coming up we've allowed Cloris another spot this week to feature one more author who bakes. After all, you can never have too many Christmas cookies, right?
Judy Penz Sheluk writes the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries, and her short crime fiction has appeared in several anthologies. Learn more about Judy and her books at her website/blog.
Judy is offering a giveaway to a lucky reader. Click here to sign up for her newsletter before December 20th for a chance to win an Audible.com audiobook of either The Hanged Man’s Noose or Skeletons in the Attic (winner’s choice).
While I don’t write the sort of books that contain cats, crafts or cookie recipes (my amateur sleuth mysteries have bit more of an edge), like me, my protagonists have a sweet tooth, at least when it comes to cookies. When I visited last December, I shared a recipe for my mom’s Almond Crescents, a to-die for shortbread that Arabella Carpenter of The Hanged Man’s Noose would surely appreciates. You can find that recipe here.
In Skeletons in the Attic: A Marketville Mystery, my protagonist, Calamity (Callie) Barnstable, is searching for clues that might help her find out more about her mother—a woman who disappeared thirty years earlier, when Callie was just six-years-old. As Callie digs through a box of her mother’s belongings, she finds a peanut butter cookie recipe that bears a striking resemblance to the recipe my mom used. Maybe it’s the childhood memory of baking with my mother, but I truly believe these are the best peanut butter cookies you’ll ever taste.
Anneliese’s Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy; I prefer smooth, but if you like bits of peanut in your cookies, the crunchy peanut butter works well)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla (real vanilla, not the imitation stuff) Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Beat butter, peanut butter and white and brown sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well after each addition.
Drop a tablespoon of cookie dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray. Flatten each cookie in a crisscross pattern with the tines of a fork.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Allow to cool completely.
What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there…
Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.
Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?