Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, SYLVIE KURTZ, and her favorite recipe for CANDYCANE BROWNIES!
CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT
Love in Brighton Village Book 1
BY SYLVIE KURTZ
She’s duty bound to a family dream. One that isn’t hers.
Claire Chandler’s passion has just been put on hold. After her parents unexpectedly pass away, she turns down a coveted wildlife photography grant to move back to New Hampshire and run their inn. But when a face from the past whose vacation she ruined as a kid shows up as a guest, she vows to turn the grumpy author’s stay into a fun-filled festive retreat.
Struggling to keep up with everyone’s never-ending demands, Claire does her best to help her prickly adversary reclaim his muse. But as she juggles a challenging cookie tour, an ex-boyfriend’s sudden arrival, and a powerful nor’easter cutting the power, she fears all her guests will unwrap is disappointment.
Will the overwhelmed host survive a snowstorm of stress and restore the Yuletide cheer?
Where Do I Get My Ideas?
Readers always ask me where I get my ideas for my books. Usually, it’s a constellation of at least three things. Sometimes it’s a place, a character, or an object that starts the story rolling. This book came about because of the pandemic.
I was working on a psychological suspense novel when the pandemic hit. As it dragged on, I found it harder and harder to work on the novel, until I was avoiding my office altogether. I couldn’t watch anything that had adrenaline-producing music. I couldn’t listen to the news. I thought I was going to have to give up writing.
Then I found myself watching a lot of Hallmark and reading a lot of rom-coms. This lightened my mood. I started thinking about my books and which one I’d most enjoyed writing. I know, I’m not supposed to have a favorite, but I do (shh, don’t tell the others!) A Little Christmas Magic has always had a special place in my heart. I wrote it when I was feeling sorry for myself because I was far away from my big family. Writing it helped me find my Christmas spirit again.
I had so much fun writing Christmas by Candlelight that I’m not sure why I waited twenty years to write another Christmas story.
During the pandemic, I started dreading leaving the house. It was getting bad enough that my husband commented on it. So, I gave Emma agoraphobia, which allowed me to work through the dread. I know that psychological issues like agoraphobia can’t be cured in a month, which is why I left Emma with a lot of work left to do, but also with a lot of hope.
My wish for this story is that it gives the reader a break from the uncertainty, and negativity of this world, and brings them a sense of hope and joy.
What helped you get through the pandemic?
Sylvie writes stories that celebrate family, friends and food. She believes organic dark chocolate is an essential nutrient, likes to knit with soft wool, and justifies watching movies that require a box of tissues by knitting baby blankets. She has written 23 novels. Visit www.sylviekurtz.com for more information.
Links to Sylvie’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you enjoy the recipe Sylvie is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
Note from Sylvie: I love tinkering with recipes. My husband complains that he never eats the same thing twice. Here, I took my favorite brownie recipe and tweaked it for the holidays.
Makes: 9 brownies (technically, it’s supposed to make 16, but let’s be real here 🙂 )
1 bag (10 oz.) of 60% cacao chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
¼ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup crushed candy cane, plus 2 tablespoons
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract, adjust to your taste
Heat oven to 350F. Line an 8″ square pan with parchment paper, leaving “handles” overhanging.
Combine 1 cup of the chocolate chips and the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 min. Stir until smooth.
While the chocolate mixture is melting, whisk the eggs and sugar into a medium bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Add the flour, salt and candycane bits and stir until smooth.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 23 minutes.
Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the brownie and return to the oven for 2 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Spread the melted chips until smooth to form a “frosting.” Top with the 2 tablespoons of crushed candy canes.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set the chocolate. Cut into squares.
If there’s any left, store at room temperature.
Thanks, Sylvie, for sharing your book and recipe with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!