Welcome back to my tribute to all things Harlequin Holiday. Today I'm featuring Brenda Harlen, she's got a fantastic recipe for her gingerbread cookies and her recipe for cafe mocha. She's also sponsoring a giveaway package. Details below
Rust Creek Ramblings
We here at The Gazette just love a happy ending, and if anyone needs a little Christmas, it's Jamie Stockton. The stoic rancher has been raising his triplet babies alone since his wife died. Thanks to Rust Creek Falls's volunteer "baby chain," Jamie has had many helping hands. But his bed is still empty, and so is his heart.
Could family friend Fallon O'Reilly be the one to brighten his holiday? Babies Henry, Jared and Kate surely love having Fallon around, but their lonely dad may take a little more convincing. Hang the holly, dear readers, and deck the halls as our cautious cowboy rediscovers his Christmas spirit—and the "girl next door" gets a present she will never forget!
Holiday Coffee Indulgences
It’s been brought to my attention (by more than a few people) that the characters in my books are often drinking coffee—probably because that’s what I’m usually doing when I’m writing. Every morning, the first task of the day—after letting the dog outside—is brewing a pot of coffee. For a lot of years, I drank my coffee with cream but, in an effort to cut unnecessary calories, I’ve learned to enjoy it black. Still, the cold winter weather and festive holiday season often makes me crave something a little sweeter, and my favorite indulgence—also enjoyed by Fallon O’Reilly in my December book, THE MORE MAVERICKS, THE MERRIER!—is café mocha.
You can make a simple café mocha by adding powdered hot chocolate mix to freshly brewed coffee—or you can follow my recipe below to kick it up a notch J
Brenda’s Café Mocha
12 ounces strong, freshly brewed coffee
4 tbsp grated chocolate (I used a bar of gourmet
dark chocolate) + a little extra for garnish
¼ cup light cream (or substitute, as desired)
1 oz. Kahlua (optional)
Melt grated chocolate in microwave-safe bowl, approximately 40-60 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds.
Pour coffee into mug.
Stir melted chocolate into coffee.
Add cream and Kahlua, if desired.
Top with whipped cream, then sprinkle extra grated chocolate on top.
And the crackle gingerbread cookies that I made to go with my café mocha are incredibly simple to make—especially if you cheat (like I did) and start with a tube of Pillsbury’s refrigerated gingerbread cookie dough. Just scoop out 2 tbsp, roll into a ball, then roll the ball in coarse sugar (I used turbinado sugar). Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then place about 2” apart on cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. They look fancy and taste delicious (crisp outside; chewy inside) but are super quick and easy—which is my favorite kind of recipe J
May your holiday be filled with lots of sweet treats!
PS. The Christmas tree in the photo was made by my youngest son when he was in second grade—nine years ago—and is still one of my favorite holiday decorations.
table than with book shaped dish wear
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