Genres: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Not even Lake Eden’s nosiest residents suspected Hannah Swensen would go from idealistic newlywed to betrayed wife in a matter of weeks. But as a deadly mystery unfolds in town, the proof is in the pudding . . . When The Cookie Jar becomes the setting of a star-studded TV special about movies filmed in Minnesota, Hannah hopes to shine the spotlight on her bakery—not the unsavory scandal swirling around her personal life. But that’s practically impossible with a disturbing visit from the shifty character she once believed was her one and only love, a group of bodyguards following her every move, and a murder victim in her bedroom. Now, swapping the crime scene in her condo for her mother Delores’s penthouse, Hannah and an old flame team up to solve a case that’s messier than an upended chocolate cream pie. As suspects emerge and secrets hit close to home, Hannah must serve a hefty helping of justice to an unnamed killer prowling around Lake Eden . . . before someone takes a slice out of her!
My Review Of
Chocolate Cream Pie Murder
This latest installment of the Hannah Swensen series had me scratching my head , I mean WTF! The 3 star rating is really mostly for the recipes and the brownie recipe which I am sharing below:
White Chocolate Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 2 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it) 1⁄4 cup powdered sugar (No need to sift unless it’s got big lumps.) 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1 cup white (granulated) sugar
brown sugar (pack it down in the cup when you measure it) 3⁄4 cup salted butter (1 and 1⁄2 sticks, 6 ounces) 6 ounces white baking chocolate squares (I used Baker’s) 1 and 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 large eggs, beaten (just whip them up in a glass with a fork) 2 cups white chocolate chips or vanilla baking chips (an 11-ounce bag will do—I used Nestlé) 1⁄2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
inch by 13-inch cake pan with heavy-duty foil. Spray the foil with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside to wait for its yummy contents. Place the flour, powdered sugar, baking soda, salt, white sugar, and brown sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on LOW speed until they are thoroughly combined. Place the stick and a half of salted butter in a microwave-safe bowl. (I used a quart Pyrex measuring cup.) Break the white chocolate baking
it with the heat-resistant spatula again. If you can stir it smooth, let it sit on the counter to cool for at least 5 minutes. If you can’t stir it smooth, heat it in increments of 30 seconds, letting it sit in the microwave for 1 minute after each increment, until you can stir it smooth. Hannah’s 1st Note: You can also do this on the stovetop over LOW heat, but make sure to stir it constantly so it won’t scorch. Stir the vanilla extract into the melted butter and white chocolate mixture. Let it continue to cool on
counter. Add the eggs to your mixer bowl and beat together at MEDIUM speed until they are thoroughly incorporated. Feel the bowl with the white chocolate and butter mixture. If it’s so hot it might scramble the eggs by adding it now, wait a few minutes until it’s cool enough to add. Turn the mixer down to LOW speed and slowly pour the white chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract mixture into the mixer bowl. Mix this until it’s combined, but do not over-beat.
Roughly chop the white chocolate chips into smaller pieces. (I used my food processor with the steel blade in an on-and-off motion.) Take the bowl out of the mixer and fold in the pieces of white chocolate chips by hand. (You can use the same heat-resistant spatula that you used earlier.) If you choose to use the pecans, stir them in now. Scoop the batter into your prepared pan. It will be very thick. Use the same rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and get every
bit of tasty batter into the cake pan. Smooth the batter out with your impeccably clean hands and then press it down evenly with the back of a metal spatula. Make sure the batter gets into the corners of the pan. Bake your White Chocolate Brownies in your preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for exactly 23 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! If you do, you’ll end up with dry brownies. When you take your brownies out of the oven, set them on a cold stove burner or a wire rack to cool.
When the White Chocolate Brownies are cool, frost them with White Chocolate Fudge Frosting. (Recipe follows.)
WHITE CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTING This recipe is made in the microwave. 2 Tablespoons (1 ounce, 1⁄4 stick) salted butter 2 cups white chocolate chips or vanilla baking chips (I used Nestlé) 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated
used Eagle Brand) Place the butter in the bottom of a microwave-safe bowl. (I used a quart Pyrex measuring cup.) Place the white chocolate chips on top of the butter. Pour in the 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Heat on HIGH for 1 minute. Then remove from the microwave and stir with a heat-resistant rubber spatula. Return the bowl to the microwave and heat for another
minute. Let the bowl sit in the microwave for 1 minute and then take it out (careful—it may be hot!) and set it on the counter. Attempt to stir it smooth with the heat-resistant spatula. If you can stir the mixture smooth, you’re done. If you can’t stir it smooth, return the bowl to the microwave and heat on HIGH in 30-second intervals followed by 1 minute standing time, until you can stir it smooth. To frost your White Chocolate Brownies, simply pour the frosting over the top of your brownies,
using the heat-resistant rubber spatula to smooth the frosting into the corners. Let the frosted brownies cool to room temperature until the frosting is “set”. Then cover with a sheet of foil and store them in a cool place. When you’re ready to serve, cut the White Chocolate Brownies into brownie-size pieces. They are rich so serve them with icy cold glasses of milk or cups of strong coffee. Lisa’s Note: We always make these brownies and Double Fudge Brownies for Valentine’s Day.
We like to decorate these with maraschino cherries cut in half lengthwise. We cut them BEFORE we make the frosting so that we’re ready to push them into the frosting before it “sets”.
Ross has betrayed Hannah in the worst way possible and the story mostly centers on Ross and how he is completely changed from the loving husband of Hannah to a real jerk.
Here is my favorite quote that Ross said to Hannah:
“And now, Hannah . . . hand me one of
those candies you just made and I’ll tell you if I like them right before I pull the trigger.”
This book really for me read like a short story with the mystery almost nonexistent, full of very long recipes, the White Chocolate Brownie recipe is a 3 star !
This book also ends with a WTF cliffhanger.