October 13, 2010

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Guest Post: Books and Cookies

Realtor Turns to Murder and Chocolate Chip Cookies
By:  Nancy Lynn Jarvis

I’m a real estate agent who is having so much fun killing people I may never sell another house. But my murder and mystery spree isn’t all gruesome. The trail of dead bodies I’ve created has also lead to a recipe for what my readers call “really good chocolate chip cookies.” The cookies are made with an unusual mystery ingredient.

My books are cozy style mysteries with a Realtor protagonist. For inspiration I used many of the agents, clients, and events from my twenty-plus years as an agent. The murders in my books are made up, but the real estate stories are real -- yes, Realtors do come across bodies in the course of doing business, sometimes dead and other times just naked -- so a Realtor who solves mysteries isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem.

 In the first book the protagonist, Regan McHenry, baked homemade cookies at an almost lethal open house; and in the second book she baked cookies to take as comfort food to a client accused of murder. After Regan’s cookies appeared in two books, I knew there had to be a recipe for them.
You don’t have to be brave to read the books, but it takes a bit of courage to try the cookies. Make a batch and give them to friends and family, ask them to see if they can figure out what the mystery ingredient is, but don’t give them any clues. After they’ve guessed cinnamon, paprika, and my personal favorite, anchovies, (only one person said that and she said the cookies didn’t taste fishy, but that was the most mysterious thing she could think of) tell them about the oil.  The chili oil doesn’t make the cookies hot; it just enhances the chocolate experience.

Mysterious Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream together until light and fluffy:
    1 cup butter
    3/4 cup light brown sugar
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 t vanilla
    1 t baking soda
    1 t habanero chili oil *
    1 t cinnamon
Mix well.
    2 1/4 cups flour
Mix again until well blended.
Stir in:
    18 ounces chocolate chips
    2 cups rolled oats or oatmeal
Drop by generous big spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350ยบ for between 12 and 15 minutes, depending on size of the cookies. Cool before removing from the cookie sheet.
*Regan uses Coeur D'Olives Habanero Oil (P.O. Box 222275, Carmel, CA 93922)

Of course the cookies make it into my in my new book “Buying Murder.”  
Read the first chapters of books in the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mystery Series for free at http://www.goodreadmysteries.com and follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ReganMcHenryRealEstateMysteries?ref=ts

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amanda,
    Somehow I missed this post until today so I've been remiss in saying thanks for having me, but I appreciate "talking" to your readers.