Award winning Australian author Kaz Delaney has published more than 70 books over her 25 year career, mostly for the YA and children’s markets. When the opportunity arrived to write in one of her favourite genres, cozy mystery, she jumped at it – and has never been happier. Her first series, The Rosie Hart Mysteries, was recently launched with Chocolate and Old Lace. Learn more about Kaz and her books at her website.
Rosie Hart’s Perfect Treat
It’s no surprise or mystery that the heroine of my new series, The Rosie Hart Mysteries, is an amateur baker and amateur detective. I like to think of myself as both as well. And just like Rosie, if something is bugging me, I can’t let it go. Like the time several months ago when my car keys ended up in the handbag of a woman I’d never met, nor ever seen before in my life. That one mystery keeps me awake at night, as I try to ponder how that could have happened. Yes, you’ve guessed it – we have never been able to fathom the answer to that. Speculation is all we have. And for a puzzle/mystery addict? That’s just plain cruel…
If you have any ideas about this, Lois, Anastasia, and I would love to hear! Let me set the scene: It happened in a large supermarket. It was early afternoon prior to school let-out, so it was only moderately busy. Despite me noticing other people as I walked the aisles, to our knowledge she and I had not passed during our time there. In fact she had entered sometime after me and was behind me progress-wise. And I kept my cart, in fact I still had it while I was searching for my lost keys - so there was no cart crossover. Over to you!
There is no mystery, however, attached to the simple recipe I’m offering. These are great for Rosie’s market stand, ‘From the Hart’, because they can be made ahead of time. Two weeks - as long as they’re stored in an airtight container. I have a large glass jar with a screw lid. It’s perfect. And these little goodies are perfect as well. Perfectly easy to make, and perfectly delicious to consume.
What’s more, they look perfectly gorgeous when presented for any occasion. Beware though; they disappear in a flash. So make sure you keep one aside for yourself.
6 egg whites
2 cups granulated sugar
5 cups cornflakes
Heat oven to 180°F/125°C. (Note: These need to be baked slowly at a low temperature. Adjust your own oven accordingly.)
Beat egg whites till stiff and able to stand in peaks alone. Then add sugar gradually. Blend in cornflakes with a wooden spoon or spatula.
For each, place a generous teaspoon of mixture on cookie sheet lined with non-stick paper.
Bake one hour. Baked meringues will be pale and crisp to touch.
To serve, dab a generous spoonful of fresh whipped cream on the top of each meringue and then top with a decoratively sliced fresh strawberry. The slight tartness of the berries is a perfect balance to the sweet meringue. However, other berries can be used if strawberries are not available.
Dust liberally with confectioner’s sugar.
Chocolate and Old Lace
A Rosie Hart Cozy Mystery, Book 1
Where there’s a will, there’s a body…
For one brief hour on a sunny Texas morning amateur baker, Rosie Hart, had a glimpse of a life she’d always dreamed about - thanks to a bequest from elderly Miss Alice. But her old friend is barely cold in the ground when Rosie’s dream rapidly turns into a nightmare and she’s accused of Miss Alice’s murder.
As the only stranger in the tight-knit rural town – things aren’t looking good for her. Especially when more bodies start piling up and mysterious letters start circulating faster than Rosie can pull a tray of cherry nut clusters from the oven.
Locals in the little town are getting uneasy, especially when Rosie begins to suspect the old lady’s murder has links to a sixty year old suspicious death on the very property she’s inherited.