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Monday, October 27, 2008

Share a recipe for a chance to win Linda's new book


Natalie the cake fairy here. A little birdie told me that Linda Goodnight has a new Harlequin Romance on the shelves right this minute! The title is THE MILLIONAIRE'S NANNY ARRANGEMENT and features another irrepressible little girl like my twins, only this little girl has a genius brain and a lonely heart.

Here's a teaser: A child genius chooses a pregnant, down on-her-luck widow to be her mommy for hire. Now if millionaire daddy will only cooperate…

Doesn't that sound yummy? And speaking of yummy, Linda is letting me run a contest for a chance to win a free, autographed copy of the book! Being a baker, I'm always on the prowl for new recipes, so here's the contest. Share a favorite goodie or snack recipe for Halloween. Or if you don't celebrate Halloween, share a favorite recipe for fall, and you'll be signed up for the contest.

Just in case you don't win the free book, pop over to Amazon to read an excerpt and order your own for a heartwarming good time.

Off to bake my famous Black Widow Cookies!

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11 Comments:

Blogger Julie Hilton Steele said...

Already have read your book Linda and truly enjoyed it :-). I don't have any Halloween recipes but I do remember doing the ghouly food fest in the dark...when you would put your hands in a bowl of spagetti (worms!), grapes (eyeballs) etc! I DO remember my neigbor who made rootbeer floats for children who came to her door and another who passed out bags of popcorn with bible verses. Ah, memories....

Peace, Julie

October 27, 2008 at 3:56 AM  
Blogger Shirley Jump said...

My daughter had a Halloween party last year and we made Mummy Pizzas. I have photos on my blog (www.shirleyjump.blogspot.com) but they were super-simple. English Muffins, topped with pizza sauce. Then you take string cheese and rip off the strings, laying them across the top like mummy wraps. Use sliced black olives for eyes. Bake in the oven or toaster oven until the cheese melts.

Shirley

October 27, 2008 at 5:05 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

Julie, I remember those spaghetti worms too! And we had a man in our tiny town who owned a wholesale company so every year he had the best treats. We all made the trek across town to Homer Gray's house for a candy bar and pack of Juicy Fruit secured with a rubber band. This was in the days of homemade cookies or one little Tootsie roll as a treat, so Homer rocked!

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Oh and thanks for the nice compliment on the new book.

Linda g

October 27, 2008 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

Shirley,

I love the "Mummy Pizzas" idea. Quick, easy, fun, and nutricious. You can't beat a deal like that!

Linda g

October 27, 2008 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Jane Beckenham said...

Hi Linda
Halloween is only a new concept down here in NZ, so no recipies, though when my daughters did the trick or treat thing, the deal was they had to make their own costumes, none of this bought stuff. So black plastic bags and face paint came in very handy.

Jane

October 27, 2008 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

Hello Jane! So good to hear from NZ. I love the idea of making costumes and showing creativity. However, it helps if someone in the family is create. As a kid, I wore more paper bags over my head with the eyes cut out than I care to remember. Ha!

October 27, 2008 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Linda,

Love the premise of your book - how adorable!

Not many people do Halloween here in Australia, and it's not fall either, lol. But my favourite snack at the moment is popcorn - we have a little machine that pops it with hot air and then we put a drizzle of butter and salt on the top and eat it warm. Yum.

October 27, 2008 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I want to know what black widow cookies are! Come back Natalie and share you're recipe please!!!!

October 28, 2008 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

MMMM, popcorn. We've become so enamored of Orville Reddenbacher's smart pop that, when our microwave went out last week, we rushed out to buy a new one just so we could have our nightly popcorn! Are we spoiled or what!? LOL

A friend of mine makes this great caramel popcorn snack that reminds me of Crackerjacks.

3 qts. popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tesp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Boil the sugar, syrup, butter and salt for 5 minutes.

Spread popcorn on a big cookie sheet. When the syrup is done, add soda and vanilla, stiring down quickly. Then pour the syrup evenly over the popcorn and mix well. Try to spread the popocorn in a single layer.

Bake at 250 for 60 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.

Cool, break apart and store in airtight container. This lasts a while and is so yummy.

Opt. You can also add a 1/2 cup of peanuts before baking.

October 28, 2008 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

MMMM, popcorn. We've become so enamored of Orville Reddenbacher's smart pop that, when our microwave went out last week, we rushed out to buy a new one just so we could have our nightly popcorn! Are we spoiled or what!? LOL

A friend of mine makes this great caramel popcorn snack that reminds me of Crackerjacks.

3 qts. popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tesp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Boil the sugar, syrup, butter and salt for 5 minutes.

Spread popcorn on a big cookie sheet. When the syrup is done, add soda and vanilla, stiring down quickly. Then pour the syrup evenly over the popcorn and mix well. Try to spread the popocorn in a single layer.

Bake at 250 for 60 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.

Cool, break apart and store in airtight container. This lasts a while and is so yummy.

Opt. You can also add a 1/2 cup of peanuts before baking.

October 28, 2008 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

Natalie, the cake fairy here. I'm so glad you asked for my recipe. It sounds complicated but it's not and kids LOVE these. Just ask my Rose and Lily. This makes enough for a class party and includes a spider ring the kids can keep and wear!

Black Widow Cookie Bars

Bars:
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and hot
1/4 cup peanut butter, chunky is best
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, coarsely chopped

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted and hot
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 2/3 cups confectioners sugar, divided
3/4 cup dark chocolate syrup (I just use Hershey's chocolate syrup since it is a staple at my house.)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease bottom of 9-inch round baking pan.

For the bars: In a heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract, whisking until smooth. Add flour and baking powder. Stir with spoon until moistened. Stir in 1 chopped chocolate chips and scrape bowl well.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes just until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan. Run knife around pan edge to loosen. Carefully turn onto cake plate. Cool 30 minutes before frosting.

For the frosting: In at least a 4-cup bowl, combine hot melted butter with semi-sweet chips. Stir continuously until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in 1cup confectioners sugar and 1/4 cup of the chocolate syrup. Mixture will thicken and become stiff. Add remaining 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup chocolate syrup. Stir until smooth. Allow frosting to stand 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup chocolate syrup, adjusting if too stiff. Frosting should appear smooth and satiny. Frost top and sides of cake. Set aside.

For the web decoration: In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon milk, adding milk until a slightly runny glaze forms. Spoon into a small decorating bag fitted with a round writing tip. OR just pour glaze into a small plastic bag and snip off the corner to create a tip.

Work quickly; do not allow fudge frosting to dry. Starting in the center of cake, using white glaze, pipe circles on top about 1/2 inch apart. Using wooden pick, lightly drag lines through the frosting, from outer edges of cake to center, about 1 inch apart to form a spider web. Decorate with plastic spiders and cut into small wedges.

You can buy a big pack of black spider rings in the party section at Walmart or other stores. I use these for decoration because the kids like to wear them after they've polished off the cookies

Serves 20.

Over and out,
Nat

October 28, 2008 at 6:54 AM  

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