Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekend Cooking, a Review, and a Giveaway!! Aphrodisiac Brownies from Cleo Coyle's "Murder By Mocha"

WINNER OF THIS GIVEAWAY - Vickie Newell!  Thank you everyone for entering!

Everything is better with chocolate, isn't it? But when you mix chocolate with coffee, ahhh! So Good!

And when you mix in little murder ... you have ... A wonderful cozy mystery called "Murder by Mocha," by Cleo Coyle, of course! (what were you thinking???)

Not only has Cleo Coyle continued her wonderful Coffeehouse Mystery series with this new volume, which features the inclusion of decadent chocolates, delicious coffee, and a fascinating murder - she always includes the most wonderful recipes along with her intrigue!

Cleo (who actually is the husband and wife writing team of Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini) was gracious enough to allow me to share her fabulous recipe for Aphrodisiac Brownies!   (swoon, doesn't that just sound tempting!)

 Cleo Coyle’s Aphrodisiac Brownies

 Can coffee and chocolate heat up your love life? For coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi, finding out will be murder…Murder by Mocha! These chocolate brownies are one of the many recipes featured in my new Coffeehouse Mystery. In keeping with the book’s theme, they include three ingredients that have long been considered aphrodisiacs.

Chocolate, of course, is Cupid’s classic consumable. Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that is believed to be a perk in the area of romantic desires. Cinnamon is a fragrant spice that was prized by the Romans. (Cleopatra famously used it to arouse her many lovers.) In these delicious brownies, the cinnamon works with the brown sugar to layer in a subtle yet intriguing flavor—perfect for a murder mystery. I hope you enjoy them. ~ Cleo Coyle

Makes one 8- or 9-inch square pan of brownies (about 16–20 squares)


12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips (about 5 ounces)

 Step 1—Prep the oven and pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8-or 9-inch square pan with parchment paper, extending the paper beyond the pan to make handles. (This will allow you to lift the brownies out of the pan while still warm.) Lightly coat the paper with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 2—Make the chocolate mixture: Place the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwave-safe container and heat in 30-second increments, stirring between each session, until the mixture has melted. (Or warm the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat. Be sure to stir continually to prevent scorching.) After the chocolate mixture is melted and smooth, stir in the cinnamon and espresso powder. Set aside.

Step 3—Create batter and bake: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk. Whisk in both of the sugars and the salt. Whisk in the chocolate mixture from Step 1. Switching to a spoon or spatula, stir in the flour, baking powder, and chocolate chips. Blend enough for a smooth batter, but do not overmix or you’ll produce gluten in the flour and toughen the brownies. Pour the batter into the pan and bake about 30 minutes.

Underbaking is smarter than overbaking. The brownies are done when the top surface has become solid and displays small cracks. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool no more than 5 minutes. Using the parchment paper handles that you made in Step 1, carefully lift the entire brownie cake out of the hot pan and allow to finish cooling on a rack. Cut into small or large squares, and... Eat with joy!

Cleo was kind to include the link to a .pdf so you can download the recipe with ease -

Plus here is a cool link to other recipes that she has featured in previous books -


A Short Review -

About The Book:

Clare's Village Blend coffee beans are being used to create a new java love potion: a "Mocha Magic Coffee," billed as an aphrodisiac. The product, expected to rake in millions, will be sold exclusively on Aphrodite's Village, one of the most popular online communities for women.
But at its launch, one of the website's editors is murdered. Clare is convinced a bitter killer wants the secret formula. Can she catch who's gone loco for mocha?

Out of all the previous books by Cleo Coyle that I have had the privilege to read, "Murder By Mocha: A CoffeeHouse Mystery" has got to be my new all-time favorite! 

Clare Cosi once again finds herself in a heaping spoonful of trouble - but this time it's chocolated-coated!  Secrets from her dear mother-in-law's past, plus a new batch of unexplainable crimes has Clare, and her loyal band of friends, stirred up!  The action is lively, the characters are warm and familiar, and the suspense is thrilling.  What more could you ask for in a cozy mystery?

For more information on Cleo Coyle's writing and upcoming projects, be sure to check out her wonderful website at http://www.coffeehousemysteries.com/

Cleo has offered an autographed copy of "Murder By Mocha" for one lucky winner!  All you have to do is leave your email and name in a comment here, and I will draw a winner for this great book next Saturday, August 13th!

Enjoy the weekend, my friends, and as always ...Happy Reading!!!

Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme sponsored by Beth Fish Reads http://www.bethfishreads.com/.   Check out the other yummy recipes that fellow bloggers have posted!


Coreena McBurnie said...

Sounds like a fun book and thanks for the recipe, will definitely have to try that!
I would like to enter (if open in Canada), thanks,
coreenamcburnie at gmail dot com

Mary said...

Wow, I can't wait to try the recipe - it sounds divine! And the fact that the book is your new favorite by CC makes me want to read it even more!

meah56 at gmail dot com

Thanks for the chance, Sharon :-)

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

I love the addition of coffee to brownies and I bet the cinnamon adds some great flavor. I always underbake, probably to the extreme...you sometimes have to eat the center with a spoon.

traveler said...

thanks for the wonderful recipe and giveaway which would be greatly enjoyed. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

An enticing book which interests me. The recipe is so delectable I will have to make these. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

TheBookGirl said...

When I read mysteries, they are always cozies, and most often, culinary ones. This series sounds fun and I hadn't heard about it before, so thanks!
No need to enter me in the giveaway as I like to start with the first in a series.

sharon said...

The recipe sounds fantastic. I'd love to read the book, thanks!

sharonsnote at gmail dot com

RtB Admin said...

I introduced this series to my sister a couple years ago and now she's a huge fan. I've love to win the copy to give to her. :)

admin.bookblog AT gmail.com

Linda Kish said...

Sounds great. Count me in, please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

Another new to me author, which I love finding. The book sounds really great, and I'm going to try the brownies. I'd love to be entered.

old gfc follower

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Mystica said...

Old GFC follower.

Thanks for the links. If this is open to all please count me in.


Audrey said...

Thanks for the great giveaway! I never thought I was a big mystery reader, but I read another novel by Cleo Coyle and I absolutely loved it, so count me in for this contest! I'm an old GFC follower- audreyclair.

caite said...

choose small or large squares? that is a joke, right? lol

Beth F said...

The brownies sound awesome!

Vicki said...

What a great giveaway, thanks for the chance to win!


My husband who doesn't really like sweets, he likes fruit instead, has been on a brownie kick lately. I'll have to try this recipe.

Here's My WC

SusanB said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

Cleo Coyle said...

You guys are biblio angels. Thank you for the very kind comments about my Coffeehouse Mysteries. I hope you enjoy the brownies, too. They really are to die for. :)

Good luck to everyone in the drawing, and thanks again to Sharon for sharing her wonderful reviews with all of us!

I'll stop back again soon...

~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
Cleo Coyle on Twitter

Rachel said...

Love the coffeehouse mystery series! Would love to win the latest :-)

Rachel rkerestes[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Love the series, and really looking forward to this latest adventure! Thanks for the brownie recipe also! I sounds amazingly yummy...
Julia Webb

Elizabeth Mayfield said...

Just finished reading this over my vacation. An awesome read! And the recipes (including this one) will have you longing for your kitchen. Would love to have a signed copy!

Denise Sheppard said...

I am loving these mysteries. I roast my own coffee and have for years, so finding Cleo Coyle has been a special treat. Keep them coming!

sarirose said...

I love the Kitchen Mysteries and recipes!

Risa said...

I am going to making these today with gluten free flour...so cant wait!

Heather J. said...

I cannot wait to read this book and try this recipe!! This is one of my favorite series and I wish that all coffeehouses were like Madames!

Nancy said...

Thank you for the contest and the recipe. Those brownies sure look good! And the book is sure to be another winner.

Anonymous said...

the new book sounds really exciting. Looking forward to reading it.

mbgarris said...

That recipe sounds fabulous, as does the book! I'm crossing my fingers.



Lori C said...

I just finished this book on my Nook last night. OMG it was so good. I couldnt wait to finish it but did not want it to end. I will miss my coffeehouse friends until next time.
I would love a hardcopy of the book signed by Cleo.
What I wouldnt give right now for a damn good cup of coffee.

Katie said...

I love the coffeehouse mystery series! thanks for the giveaway! Kvlaughlin@gmail.com

rgp1950 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rgp1950 said...

I love chocolate and this recipe sounds like chocolate heaven. I don't do much cooking, but this sounds as though it would be worth messing up the kitchen for.


Hollowsman71 said...

Cloe always has the beset recipes, I have tried most of them I can't wait to try this one.

Shane Davis

Alicia Farage said...

I hope I'm not too late as I love her books and recipes!
Alicia Farage

Kara said...

I have read all the previous Coffeehouse Mysteries and can't wait to read this newest one. I've also gotten my mom hooked on them! :D

Kuzlin said...

Great series and the brownies sound sinful!

Linda Kuzminczuk

Harvee/Book Dilettante said...

Eating those brownies while reading the book would be great!

harvee44 (at) yahoo.com

allessea said...

I love all the coffee house mysteries and I would Livy to have an autographed copy. Thank you for the great recipe

Maryanne McCuin said...

I love the Coffee House Mysteries most of all the cozies that I read. I find myself wanting to work behind Clare Cosi's counter!

I an excited for the new book and know I will be anxiously waiting the next one . . .


Liz Lipperman said...

I can't wait to try this recipe, and I can tell you, the book was fantastic. No need to put me in the contest since I already have it.

Thanks, Cleo.

Christine A. said...

This book sounds great. I can't wait to read it.

your1chef at aol dot com

The Cotton Thistle said...

Nothing better than a nice quiet day, relaxing and reading Cleo Coyle books :)
Thank you Cleo - great work!

Nicole Johnson said...

Nicole Johnson, Dinolady22@yahoo.com

Carys said...

here via cleo's post on fb. thank you for having the giveaway!


Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews said...

Thank you all for stopping by and for your wonderful comments! I'm drawing for the winner and will post the name soon!

Happy Reading Ya'll!!