Friday, November 14, 2014

Cozy Food Friday!

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

Today I'm featuring a recipe from the cozy mystery 
Daryl Wood Gerber. 

Note from Jenna Hart - Lead character
I found this recipe in a cookbook with the incredibly long title 
Ghoulish Goodies: Creature Feature Cupcakes, Monster Eyeballs, Bat Wings, Funny Bones, Witches' Knuckles, and Much More!, but I didn't have all the ingredients, so I experimented and came up with this recipe. The author of the recipe mentioned that tons of recipes for candy brittle include a big baking soda addition, which can make the hot sugar puff up too much and get sort of cloudy looking. The puffiness looks cool, but the candy doesn't have the crispness that brittle-lovers crave. So, note that this recipe doesn't have a ton of baking soda. Also note, you need a candy thermometer. Luckily, I had one because my aunt was wise enough to furnish my little kitchen with one. She knew I had a sweet tooth. 
The recipe is easy. The candy flavor divine.


1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with butter. Put on oven mitts. 

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly while the sugar dissolves. Cook until the mixture comes full boil. This will take 3 to 5 minutes. 

Slip the candy thermometer along the side of the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue to boil without stirring until the temperature reaches 260°F on the candy thermometer. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. (Note: the temperature gets to 200°F fast . . . but then be patient.)

Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the butter and sunflower seeds with a wooden or heatproof spoon. (Don't use a plastic spoon; it could melt.) Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the temperature reaches 295°F on the candy thermometer.

Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. Be careful; the vanilla will spatter. Yipes!

Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it as thinly as possible, using the back of the wooden spoon or a spatula, and let the brittle stand until completely cool. 

Break the candy into serving pieces (I gently whack it with a mallet) and store the candy in a plastic ziplock bag.Remember to squeeze out the air before sealing. 

The candy holds for up to 2 weeks, if you can keep from eating it that long. 

                                  Please note that all food photos are from Google Images. 
Your version may vary in appearance

I never thought about using sunflower seeds in brittle. 
Great idea for family and friends with nut allergies!

You can purchase STIRRING THE PLOT by 
Daryl Wood Gerber at your local bookstore or order it online

NOTE: I am not in an affiliate program with any online company.
I do not receive payment in anyway for my suggestions to you or 
if you make your purchases from a company I mention. 

Keep reading and check out my installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading

Keeping my Cozy Food Friday theme going with... 
STIRRING THE PLOT by Daryl Wood Gerber
Book 3 in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series
My Book Beginnings for this week..

A cat yowled. Not mine. Tigger was back at The Cookbook Nook. However, I couldn't stand for an animal to be in pain. I leaped out of my chair and scanned the garden of the Crystal Cove Inn. At five eight, I could peer over most of the crowd. I looked from booth to booth. The Cookbook Nook was one of many vendors selling its wares at the Winsome Witches Faire on a gently breezy Sunday, all to benefit the Witches' cause---literacy. I dropped to all fours. I must have looked pretty silly in a black sheath with my rear end in the air and my sandals ready to fall off my water ski-sized feet, but I didn't care. "Here, kitty, kitty."

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.

Continuing with the STIRRING THE PLOT theme
My Friday 56...

"She will be missed. Is there a story there?"
"What kind of story?" I asked, deliberately being evasive.
He offered a wry look. "Care to comment?"
"No." I held up my hands. "Ask the police."

3rd in nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series
Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster...

Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there's one unexpected addition to the menu: murder.

When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead under mysterious circumstances, there's no logical answer and plenty of blame to go around. With her aunt, Vera, unable to call on her ability to foresee the future, Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand and a few magic tricks to conjure up the truth... 

The Author
Daryl Wood Gerber

Learn more about Daryl on her website

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Happy Release Day 
to author
Susan Bernhardt!

Susan's book 
Book 2 in the Kay Driscoll Mystery series
is out today!

Perfect timing for holiday reading!

While Kay attends a Christmas tea at Hawthorne Hills Retirement Home, a beloved caretaker dies from an allergic reaction to peanuts. When the official coroner's report rules the cause of death to be accidental, a small group of residents suspect foul play and call upon Kay to investigate.
Kay uncovers sinister plots of fraud, revenge, and corruption at the Home. During this season of peace on earth, good will to men, additional murders occur. Despite multiple attempts on her life, and with the support once again of her best friends, Elizabeth and Deirdre, Kay continues her quest for bringing justice for the victims.

Kay's first Christmas in Sudbury Falls is an unforgettable one, with equal amounts of celebration and danger. 'Tis the season to be sleuthing!

Congratulations Susan!


  1. Thanks, Lisa! Hope you have a relaxing weekend.

  2. Thank you, Lisa for your well wishes. And you are so sweet for including my newly released cozy mystery on your blog. :) I really appreciate this very much.

    I just found out Murder Under the Tree is also listed under the Holiday mysteries on and Cozy Mysteries Unlimited.

    Thanks again.
    Susan Bernhardt

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Susan! MURDER UNDER THE TREE sounds awesome!. Best wishes with it and this series!

  3. Both Stirring the Plot and Murder Under the Tree sound like delightful books that I'd enjoy. And that sunflower seed brittle looks yummy!
    My Friday post features THE 13 OF HEARTS.

  4. These books look tempting, and the food is making me salivate...(drool was what first came to mind!). Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “THE TWILIGHT HOUR”

  5. I get hungry reading the recipe and the book opening is great. Since I love cats and mine just came in through the pet door to let me know it is too cold outside and would I please do something about it it really struck a cord.

  6. Great looking recipe. And thanks for the write ups about Stiring the Plot and Murder Under The Tree. Both are on my tbr list.

  7. The sunflower seed brittle sounds interesting! I'd love to try that one! This series is on my TBR and I'm really looking forward to getting to it soon!

  8. I think the sunflower seed brittle is a wonderful choice for brittle fans who have nut allergies. I have got to get myself a candy thermometer!

  9. I love peanut brittle so will have to try the sunflower brittle, thanks!
    Looks like a fun cozy too!
    Happy weekend!

  10. I should never visit your blog when I am hungry. :)

    And that book is so cute with such a clever title.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings