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 -
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/
AND.... A GIVEAWAY!!!!
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!