Carolyn L. Dean

Author of small town Cozy Mysteries and sweet Romances

Category: Books (page 2 of 2)

Ready to send out free advance reader copies…..EEEEK!

fearOkay, this is the scariest thing I’ve done in a LONG time. My novel, a PG-rated cozy mystery titled BED, BREAKFAST, and BONES will be through final edits this weekend, and free advance digital copies will be available on Sunday. You may remember this is the first book where I’ve told people my pen name, so having you all read it is a huge step for me.

If you are interested in reading it to help catch errors and give opinions, or if you’d like a free copy to read and then give an honest review on Amazon, please let me know at Carolyn@CarolynDeanBooks.com. I can send a Word doc (best for revisions), PDF, .mobi or .epub. Directions on how to download it to your Kindle can be included but I’ve found it to be problematic sometimes. Please IM me your email, and which version you would like. If you’d rather download from Amazon, i am expecting it be available in about a week, for 99 cents.  

THANK YOU!

 

CUPPA’S ‘TO DIE FOR’ CINNAMON ROLLS

CUPPA’S  ‘TO DIE FOR’  CINNAMON ROLLS Print Friendly and PDF

Did the description of Cuppa’s amazing cinnamon rolls make your mouth water?  Every time I described them in this book I thought about my family’s favorite recipe for cinnamon rolls, and I’ve included it here for you.  I think Tory and Meg would approve.  All measurements/temperatures are in US units.

Makes 12 wonderfully large rolls

Dough:

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup warmed milk (I microwave this and then stir to be sure there are no hot spots)
  • 2/3 cup softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour

 

Filling of Deliciousness:

  •  1 cup melted butter, divided (that’s 2 sticks)
  • 1-3/4 cups dark brown sugar, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh, if possible)
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups dark raisins (optional)

 

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 and a half teaspoons real vanilla
  • 5 to 8 Tablespoons hot water

 

DIRECTIONS:

To make dough combine yeast, warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar in a cup and stir.  Set aside.

In a large bowl mix warmed milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, butter, salt, and eggs.  Stir well and add yeast mixture.  Add half the flour and beat until smooth.  Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a slightly stiff dough.  It’s okay for the dough to be sticky.

Turn out onto a well-floured board and knead for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place in a well-buttered glass bowl.  Cover loosely and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

When doubled, punch down dough and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Roll out onto floured surface into a 15 x 20 inch rectangle.

 

Filling: Spread dough with ½ cup melted butter.  Mix together 1/-1/2 cups brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Sprinkle over buttered dough.  Sprinkle with pecans and raisins, if you want.  Sometimes I go really crazy and add a cup of finely-chopped apples, too.

Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch the edges together to seal.  Cut into 12 slices.  Coat bottom of a 13”’x 9” and a square 8” pan with the last ½ cup of melted butter, and sprinkle remaining ¼ cup of sugar mixture on top.  Place slices close together in pans.  Let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk (about 45 minutes).

Preheat oven  to 350 degrees.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned.  Let cool slightly and spread with frosting.  Share with others, and be prepared to get marriage proposals  😉

 

Frosting:  Mix melted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Add hot water a tablespoon at a time, mixing after each, until frosting is of desired consistency.  Spread or drizzle over slightly-cooled rolls.

Excerpt: BED, BREAKFAST, and BONES

It was easy to find Mrs. Granger inside the general store, and Meg had been spot on when she described her as Yoda. She was a little cotton-haired lady of indeterminate age and shape, sitting on a padded wooden bench near an antique stove, her four-wheeled walker parked close by. She was quietly knitting fingerless gloves by the light of the large window next to her, and obviously eavesdropping on the lively conversation at the checkout register ten feet away.

“Mrs. Granger?” Kathy asked. She held the pink cinnamon roll box in her hands, waiting.

“Shhhhh! Just a minute…”

Kathy shifted foot to foot while the checker wrapped up her conversation with the chatty customer and thanked her as she headed out the door.

With a satisfied sigh, the old lady settled back on the bench. “Now, what can I do for you, dear?”

Kathy held out the box. “Robin said I should come talk to you, and she sent over some pastries.”

The toady little woman’s eyes lit up, and she made excited “ooo” sounds as she grabbed the box.

“Have a seat!” She gestured vaguely at the wooden bench next to her as she dug into the first roll.

“Sorry to shush you, but I was listening to Mary Anne Bates tell Myrna about her new Chrysler. You know, she’s not a bad person, except she forgets to vote and she does grow the marijuana down in her chicken shed.” Mrs. Granger pulled a huge piece of icing off the top of the roll and waved it at Kathy. “I don’t like that. It’s not healthy,” she said, as she expertly crammed the chunk of frosting into her mouth.

After a couple minutes of enthusiastic chewing, she came up for air and smiled at Kathy.

“You’re the lady with the problem buried under her scarecrow, or rather, the problem that WAS buried under your scarecrow.”

“You know about that?”

“Oh honey, I read the paper like a good taxpayer should. I’m figurin’ you probably came to ask me about why Emmett wound up in your garden, six feet under.”

“Um, it was more like four.”

“Whatever.”

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