Guest Laura Jensen Walker, plus #Giveaway

Edith/Maddie here, happy to welcome a fellow Californian to the blog. Laura Walker has a debut mystery out in September and comes highly recommended by last week’s guest, Catriona McPherson.

Here’s the blurb: Everyone in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, knows Teddie St. John. Tall, curly-haired Teddie is a superb baker, a bohemian bon vivant, a grateful breast cancer survivor, and a mystery writer. Teddie is walking her American Eskimo Gracie, when her four-legged friend finds Teddie’s missing silk scarf. Only problem: the scarf is tied tightly around the neck of the fiancée of a touring British author. Before you can say “Wisconsin kringle,” Teddie becomes a murder suspect. With the help of her Three Musketeers friends Sharon and Char, can Teddie clear her name and deliver a killer’s just desserts?

Take it away, Laura!

Thank you so much to Edith and the Wickeds for welcoming this debut cozy mystery author—and to my friend, the fun and lovely Catriona McPherson, for introducing me to Edith. As a newbie to the mystery writing community, I was eager and excited to meet many of my fellow mystery authors and readers at Bouchercon, but, unfortunately, COVID-19 had other plans. I’m grateful and honored to launch my first mystery, Murder Most Sweet, here with the wonderful Wickeds. (I still can’t believe I wrote a mystery! How cool is that?) I’m loving this genre and my return to writing.

Murder Most Sweet is a tribute to my Racine, Wisconsin childhood and my Danish/Norwegian grandmother who baked the most delicious, delectable treats. I credit Grandma Florence, along with the Danish bakeries of my hometown, for my lifelong sweet tooth. Racine is the “kringle capital of the world.” (Kringle is a yummy, butter-layered Danish pastry first introduced to Racine in the late 1800s by immigrant Danish bakers. It is now Wisconsin’s official state pastry.)

My sister and I would walk to my grandma’s daily after school. When we pushed open the front door of Grandma’s house on a cold winter’s day, we were enveloped by warmth and the mouth-watering aromas of her delicious homemade sweets and treats. Every day was a fresh-baked surprise: Cookies of every kind—sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chip, oatmeal-raisin, chocolate-crinkle, and more. Warm, deep-fried doughnuts sprinkled with powdered sugar. Crullers. Apple crisp. Cinnamon rolls. Brownies. Pies. Cakes. (I especially loved her chocolate cake with the boiled frosting that cracked when I bit into it.) When my grandma passed away my freshman year in high school, it was the end of a baking era.

It wasn’t until we moved to Phoenix when I was fourteen that I discovered the delectable Danish pastries and mouthwatering baked goods I grew up with as a normal part of everyday life did not exist elsewhere in America. Definitely not in dry, dusty Arizona. This was a terrible shock to my sweet tooth system. No more cherry or apple kringle warmed with butter for breakfast on weekend mornings? No more Seven Sisters? (Seven Danish pastry rolls baked together to form a round coffee cake with luscious custard filling and almond paste.) No more special Napoleon kringle with its rich custard filling at wedding showers and baby showers? No more delicious Danish layer cake with its ribbons of raspberry and custard filling and thick buttercream frosting with fat buttercream roses the grown-ups always gave me at every birthday party and wedding? Sacrilege. Happily, I can now occasionally get my kringle fix from Trader Joe’s. (Imported from one of our famous Racine bakeries of course.)

Readers: What favorite baked treat from your childhood (baked by your grandmother, grandfather, mom, dad, favorite aunt, or local bakery) still sets your mouth to watering today? To celebrate the September release of Murder Most Sweet, Laura is giving away an ARC. Just leave a comment to enter.

Laura Jensen Walker has loved mysteries ever since she read Trixie Belden in the fourth grade in her Danish-founded hometown of Racine, Wisconsin—America’s kringle capital. The author of several fun and frothy chick-lit novels and humorous non-fiction books, including Thanks for the Mammogram! Laura lives in Northern California with her Renaissance-man husband and their canine daughter, Mellie. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

www.laurajensenwalker.com

https://www.instagram.com/laurajensenwalker/

https://www.facebook.com/laurajensenwalker/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49050951-murder-most-sweet

You can preorder the book at:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murder-most-sweet-laura-jensen-walker/1136014119?ean=9781643855028

https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781643855028

113 Thoughts

  1. Mine has to be pumpkin pie, enjoyed every holiday season. I love your adorable cover, and congrats on your upcoming debut. (Also, Trixie Belden was my introduction to mysteries too!)

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    1. Pumpkin pie during the holidays is a must, Marla (with whipped cream, of course 🙂 Thanks for the kind words. I love the cover too! (The dog is actually an homage to my first dog, Gracie–I even named Teddie’s dog Gracie in honor of our sweet girl.) And Trixie rocks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yum! I think I’ve only had Italian rum cake once or twice in my life, and as I recall, I felt a bit tipsy afterwards 🙂

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    1. I don’t recall my mom baking too many pies–my Grandma usually did–but we had the extra baked dough as well. Definitely a fun treat. Edith, I never knew there was a name for it though. Pie cookies. Love it!

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  2. Home girl! I lived in Racine for nine years, and the kringle still hasn’t left my blood! But you left out “raspberry,” surely the filling that God intended. Congratulations on the debut novel. Eat a kringle in celebration. A whole one.

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    1. Hi there my fellow Racineite Heidi! You’re right, Kringle doesn’t leave your blood. Thank goodness Trader Joe’s occasionally carries it AND that we can order online now. When I was little, I’m not sure they had raspberry (or if they did, my family never got it) but as an adult, I’m with you. My two favorite flavors today are definitely raspberry and cherry-cheese. In fact, once Murder Most Sweet officially debuts, I’m definitely ordering (and eating) an entire kringle in celebration! (Although I’ll let my husband have a few pieces.)

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      1. Thanks for stopping by, Susan. Glad you were able to join us. And I think a kringle Zoom call sounds perfect 🙂

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  3. Congratulations on your book Laura!

    It’s not all that unique but I loved my mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. I also loved her oatmeal cookies too.

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    1. Thanks, Jay! It may not be unique, but I don’t think there’s anything better than homemade chocolate chip cookies, warm from the oven with a big glass of milk. Yumm! (Oatmeal is a close second though–with raisins. Oatmeal raisin. Yumm.) I think they’re my second favorite cookie. Or is that shortbread? Or peanut-butter blossoms. Or…

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      1. Nothing like cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. I have a very distinct memory of my mom (who didn’t bake all that much since we had a nearby grandma who was the queen of baking 🙂 but I remember my mom making homemade cinnamon rolls and cutting the dough with a thick pair of stainless kitchen scissors. I can see it in my mind’s eye right now. (Mind’s eye–where did that expression come from anyway? 🙂

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  4. Congratulations on your book! What pastry did you select to help celebrate your book birthday?

    I’m of German heritage and my absolute favorite pastry is the traditional crumb bun for breakfast. My Dad loved to cook, and experiment – as a child I was allergic to chocolate (thank heaven that resolved) and he created a butterscotch brownie to satisfy my sweet tooth. Years later I asked him for the recipe. Alas, he was unable to locate it.

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    1. Thanks, Kait! The official book birthday is Sept. 8, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with either raspberry or cherry-cheese kringle for the win. I don’t think I’ve heard of the crumb bun–what was that like. I was actually stationed in Germany when I was in the Air Force in my twenties and I don’t recall a crumb bun, but I do remember ‘brochen’ and strudel. Yumm. Thank heaven indeed that your chocolate allergy resolved. Can’t imagine a life without chocolate. That butterscotch brownie sounds delish too; sorry your dad wasn’t able to find the recipe 😦 My favorite butterscotch treat is cooked butterscotch pudding (the cook ‘n’ serve Jell-O kind) warm from the stove. Once she poured it into bowls, my mom would drop chocolate chips on the top right before the ‘skin’ formed. Yumm. Melted chocolate chips in warm butterscotch pudding. Delish.

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      1. Hi Laura. This blog has made me so dang hungry! And caused me to remember an old fave dessert my mom used to make – Wacky Cake. No eggs or shortening but WITH vinegar. But it’s a super moist, chocolatey treat! You can’t mess it up. Which is helpful to an impaired baker like me. SO looking forward to reading this book. I know it will be delightful. Er…delicious!

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      2. Thanks for stopping by, Cathy. Your mom’s wacky cake sounds good–I love a moist chocolate cake. Can’t wait for you to read the book and hear what you think, my friend.

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  5. Can’t wait to read this book, it sounds great!
    My favorite was my grandma’s homemade Twix bars. She didn’t bake much anymore by the time I came along, this was one of the easy recipes she still did. When she found out I liked them so much, she would make them for me a lot. We had a deal she’d make me bars if I’d come over and unwrap the caramels for her, since her arthritis gave her trouble with that. And no snitching caramels out of the already counted ones! I have her recipe and still make them quite a bit.

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    1. Thanks, Alicia! Homemade Twix bars?? I didn’t even know such a thing existed. Sounds fabulous! I love Twix bars, dipped into a cup of hot PG Tips tea–with milk and sugar of course. I love the deal your grandma made with you–especially the no snitching caramels out of the already counted ones–definitely a grandma thing to say 🙂 How lovely that you have your recipe and can still make them. In fact, it sounds like a recipe I’d love to try. (Or have my husband make since he’s the better baker of the two of us 🙂

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      1. Its super easy. Press a tube of sugar cookie dough into a jelly roll pan and bake at 350F until light brown and let cool. Melt 1 bag (or 48-52 pieces) caramels, 1/2 cup margarine, 1 can sweetened condensed milk. Pour over cookie dough and cool. Melt 1- 12oz bag chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter. Spread over caramel and let cool.

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    1. Kathie, you have to tell us more than kneecaps! (Otherwise I’m imagining a child’s knobby knees dusted in powdered sugar 🙂 What are kneecaps, pray tell?

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  6. Congratulations! The book and the recipies sound WONDERFUL! For me, it’s my Scottish great-grandmother’s scones, made of butter, cream and flour, fried in butter and served with — guess what — more butter and jam. I don’t think they had cardiologists in Scotland back then!

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I. ADORE. SCONES. I first discovered them years ago when I was stationed in England–RAF Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire–after my posting in Germany and fell in love with them of course. How can you not? Back then in England, I do recall that they usually served them with butter first, then jam, then clotted cream on top. (Unless you eat them the way they do in Devon, with the cream first then the jam.) Definitely a heart attack waiting to happen 🙂 However, in recent years when I’ve visited England, I think they leave off the butter and just do the jam and cream. I love to do English teas at my home for friends (or did, pre-pandemic) and always have scones with jam and cream, or lemon curd and cream. Actually, because I adore both, when I split my scone in half, I do jam and cream on one side and lemon curd and cream on the other 🙂

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    1. Hi Annette! Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. That cake sounds delicious! Especially the lemon filling–anything lemon works for me.

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    1. Thanks, Sherry! Thanks for having me–I’m delighted to be here. Bohemian Nut Slices sound intriguing–what kind of nuts? As a child, I hated all nuts. (Confession: remember the Hershey’s miniatures? When we visited my great-grandma she had a candy dish full of them–my favorites were the plain Hershey bar–but often the only thing left in the dish when we arrived were Mr. Goodbars. Chocoholic that I was (am) I’d nibble all the chocolate around the peanut, then slip the peanut in my mouth whole and lick off all the chocolate, then excuse myself to go to the bathroom and spit out the dreaded peanut into a tissue and bury it deep in the wastebasket. Now I love peanuts. And cashews. And almonds (chopped or slivered, without the skin–it’s a texture thing). Same thing with pecans–finely chopped is great (I have a recipe for ‘breaded’ pork chops where the breading is chopped pecans–yumm) but I can’t abide walnuts. Too bitter for me.

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    1. Thanks, Liz! Warm chewy cookies fresh from the oven with a tall glass of milk has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. In fact, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it, and may need to make some when I’m done here.

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  7. My mother was an excellent cook and especially her many baked items. My favorites were her decadent chocolate fudge and her balish and kochki. When she made pies you were assured they would be heaping with the fruit inside. I am only1/10th of a baker compared to my mom.

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    1. Hi Rob–nothing like decadent chocolate fudge, is there? (Was your mom’s with or without nuts?) Due to my childhood aversion of the latter, to this day I still prefer chocolate fudge without nuts.) What is ‘balish’ and ‘kochki’ though? Sounds intriguing.

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  8. Congratulations, Laura! I’m not entering the giveaway, but I do have a favorite food memory–my Danish grandma’s sweet cardamom bread. She baked every week and always made me my own little loaf.

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    1. Hi Connie–thanks for stopping by! Sweet cardamom bread sounds wonderful. And how sweet that she made you your own little loaf. Did you grandma give you the recipe so you can still bake it today?

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  9. Hi Laura,
    Your childhood sounds a lot like mine, although I grew up in northern WI., and now live in Central Wisconsin. 🙂 And now I am sooo craving a Kringle.
    My favorite dessert that Grandma Vogel made were Kammerjunkers. The hint of cardamom and lemon was wonderful.

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    1. Me too, Kim! I want a piece of Kringle RIGHT NOW! (I think I’m going to ask my husband if he’ll make a Trader Joe’s run to see if they have any in stock 🙂 What are Kammerjunkers? A cookie? Sounds delicious.

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  10. Thank you Edith for introducing me to a new to be author. Hello Laura! I’ve already followed you on both Facebook and Goodreads. “Murder Most Sweet” sounds like a wonderful book and one I’m greatly looking forward to reading.

    My favorite yummy thing from my childhood would be the Hungarian Coffee Cake my Mom made. It was the cake I always requested for my birthday cake. Mom was a make it from scratch wizard in the kitchen. This cake is sort of cross between cinnamon rolls and the modern version of a sticky bun cake. There is a yeast dough that was formed in little round balls dipped in melted butter and rolled in a sugar, cinnamon and ground pecan mixture. They they were placed in an angel food cake pan with more goodness added between layers and on top. Oh the smell baking was heavenly and the taste even better.

    I was able to stand behind my Mom and get accurate amounts of the ingredients in lots of her recipes by standing by her and measuring with measuring spoons and cups what she put in her hand or before placing it in the bowl. Thankfully I did this before Alzheimer took its firm hold on her. However, this is one recipe that I can’t seem to quite get right. It always seems to be lacking something. I think it was the generous amount of love Mom added to all her baking. It’s still my favorite and brings such sweet memories back when I have it.

    Thank you for the fabulous opportunity to win a copy of “Murder Most Sweet”! Share and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected. I would love to read and review to spread the word of this book.

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    1. Hi Kay–thank you! You’ve got me drooling for your mom’s Hungarian Coffee Cake now. Sounds amazing! So glad you were able to stand behind your mom and get the accurate amounts of ingredients so you can re-create her recipes. Thanks for entering the giveaway and your willingness to read and review and spread the word of my debut cozy mystery novel. I really appreciate it! (I’m still pinching myself that I wrote a mystery novel! And loved every minute of doing so. I’ve just turned in the next Bookish Baker Mystery to my editor–Deadly Delights–which will come out in June 2021.

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  11. Congratulations on your book Laura!My grandmother made the best pumpkin pies. Also made strawberry rhubard pie,which was so good with vanilla ice cream. Her crust was the best- thick but very light and crispy.

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    1. Thanks, Cindy! And thanks for stopping by to say hi! Pumpkin pies are about my favorite pie. I do love strawberry rhubarb, too–but definitely need it with ice cream to offset the tartness 🙂

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  12. My favorite was from my Grandma in Hyde Park, NY- she would make the most amazing strawberry-rhubarb pie! Mmmmmmm! I am so proud of you and happy for you Laura! While life can throw some pretty big lemons at us, dreams still come true!

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. I appreciate that. After an 11-year absence from the writing and publishing world, I’m grateful and thrilled to bits to be writing again! And especially in such a fun genre that’s absolutely perfect for me. Dreams still do come true. I’m thankful beyond words to have recently retired and to be pursuing my passion full-time again. Loving every minute of it. Thanks so much for your support!

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  13. My mother made homemade apple pies, cream cheese tarts, crumbly and light sugar cookies, and more. I unfortunately didn’t get the baking gene. Can’t wait to read your book, LW!

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    1. Thanks, Laura K! And thanks so much for stopping by. (Laura’s my former work friend and a fabulous editor–we worked closely together at the State of California–our boss called us ‘Team Laura’–until I recently retired.) You may have not gotten your mom’s baking gene, Laura, but I really liked the ‘spam balls’ you brought to work for our potlucks 🙂

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  14. I’m really looking forward to this book. A fellow Trixie Belden fan here!

    I miss my grandma’s fudge. No one else seems to make it quite as good as she did. Not sure what the secret was. Or maybe I just need to start searching for the perfect fudge. Maybe it is out there and I haven’t found it yet. I think that’s a sacrifice I could make.

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    1. Hi Mark. Trixie was the best wasn’t she? My aunt worked at Western Printing in Racine, where Trixie was printed, and would bring me copies of the latest Trixie hot off the press. I wish I still had those childhood copies today, but too many moves as a kid lost them. However, I’ve been collecting them from antique stores as an adult and have managed to get several titles–including the first ‘Trixie Belden and The Gatehouse Mystery’ where we’re introduced to her best friend Honey, and Jim. Was your grandma’s fudge a classic chocolate fudge, or the one with Marshmallow fluff? I love both 🙂

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      1. Hot off the presses Trixie? I’m jealous! I believe her fudge was a classic chocolate fudge. Unfortunately, it’s been so long I’m not sure any more. And I never knew how to make it.

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  15. Tablet! It’s sometimes compared to fudge, but it’s butterier and less sickly. The consistency is somewhere between . . . avocado and macaroon. It breaks clean and dissolves easy. Ohhhh, it’s lovely. My Granny McPherson could fling it together without a recipe. Anytime I’ve tried to make it, I have to throw the pot out.

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  16. Welcome. Laura! I think my childhood favorite is my grandmother’s chocolate fudge cake. It was the first cake I learned to bake from scratch. It’s very rich and uses sour milk and good strong coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor. Congratulations on the new series!

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  17. Welcome, Laura! I think my favorite childhood treat is my grandmother’s chocolate fudge cake. It was the first cake I learned to bake from scratch. It is very rich and uses sour milk and good strong coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor. Congratulations on the new series!

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    1. Thanks, Autumn. I love a good chocolate fudge cake (especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.) However, I’m one of those odd ducks who can’t stand the taste (or even smell) of coffee. I’ve never liked coffee, but when I was going through heavy-duty chemo for breast cancer 28 years ago, that dislike increased a thousand-fold. Just the smell made me nauseous 😦 A coworker at my last job is a fabulous baker and one day she brought in yummy chocolate fudge cake that looked delicious. Upon the first bite, I asked, ‘Rachel, is there coffee in this cake?’ and she said yes. But I already knew as my tastebuds and stomach went into instant revolt 😦

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  18. Pumpkin pies! Mom would make 6 or 8 of then the week of Thanksgiving. With 6 kids, the pies were all gone in just a couple of days. Yum!!! No one has ever topped my mom’s crusts. Even though I know her recipe, I’ve never been able to replicate them. Just flour, shortening, and water, but mine are not quite the same.

    Here’s to bakers everywhere. 🍻

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    1. Thanks for commenting, husband of mine and the true baker in the family. I love your pumpkin pies. (If you don’t mind, I won’t include you in the giveaway, however 🙂

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    1. Hi Barbara. How lovely that you have your maternal grandmother’s book of recipe cards. A valuable possession indeed!

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  19. My favorite was vinegar dumplings. It’s basically cinnamon rolls (dough rolled with cinnamon and sugar in the middle, jellyroll style) but then a mixture of sugar and vinegar is poured over the whole pan and baked. A wonderful gooey sauce is formed. And a delicious sweet/tart flavor is infused into the dough. Haven’t make them in years, but they still are one of my favorites.

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  20. My grandmother made me homemade from scratch cherry pie for my birthday every year, from the time I was 4 yrs old until I was 36, when she could no longer bake due to Alzheimer. Now my youngest daughter bakes me her homemade from scratch cherry pie for my birthdays & they are darn close to my grandmother’s .

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    1. Next to pumpkin, cherry pie is my favorite, Sheryl. How wonderful that your daughter is carrying on your grandmother’s tradition. Yumm.

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  21. So simple, but … brownies and homemade peanut butter cups. My mother used to make brownies (not infrequently) and I grew fond of eating them “underdone.” The peanut butter cups were a RARE treat. Lovely post, and congrats on the book. I hope to read it.

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    1. I love making the cookies we did growing up including Oatmeal drop! Made with peanut butter and chocolate goodness. I can’t wait to read this book!

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      1. Peanut butter and chocolate – best. Combination. Ever. (Do you remember those old Reese’s commercials? ‘You got peanut butter in my chocolate!’ ‘You got chocolate in my peanut butter.’)

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    2. Brownies are one of my favorites, Angela. And I like them slightly underdone too. I’ve never had homemade peanut butter cups, but since I adore Reese’s and that combo, they would be amazing. (Now I’m going to have to pick up some Reese’s next time I go to the store.)

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    3. Congratulations, Angela–you won the giveaway! Please check your email so we can send you the ARC of Murder Most Sweet.

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  22. Hard to pick one but my mom’s strawberry short cake and her Christmas cookies called Nutmeg Logs were my favorites. Your books looks so good. Trixie Belden was my second mystery series I loved an I’m reading them again this summer for fun. Bobbsey Twins was my first.

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    1. Love strawberry shortcake and nutmeg logs Sound intriguing, Judith. I read and loved the Bobbsey Twins as a kid too. I also read Janet Lennon at Camp Calamity, the Donna Parker books, and of course the Walt Disney Annette mysteries with Annette Funicello.

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  23. Wow, how exciting for you! I can’t wait to read it. Of course, I’m going to have to go to Trader Joe’s first and pick up some kringle to eat while I read. Ironically, I, too, had a grandma Florence, but she was a not a great baker. She made wonderful cookies and these amazing cinnamon twists with extra pie crust, but she’d also just throw stuff together sometimes, and those treats were not the best. But they were all made with love, which is what I felt from your blog. Can’t wait to dive into your cozy and some cake.

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    1. Thanks, Kim. How fun that you had a Grandma Florence too. I just got back from Trader’s actually, and they had tons of cheesecake kringle so hurry on over and grab one. In a minute I’m going to put the kettle on so I can enjoy a nice hot cup of PG Tips and a slice of kringle. (The cheesecake one is good, albeit a little bland. It doesn’t have the same zing as cherry-cheese or raspberry, but beggars can’t be choosers.) Thanks for your kind words.

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  24. Congratulations, Laura! You’re writing always makes me laugh so I can’t wait for your debut cozy mystery!! I’m not gifted with the baking gene but I have wonderful childhood memories of making chocolate chip cookies with my friend in her mom’s kitchen on weekends when it was too cold to be out in the Indiana winter weatjer. More of my share of the dough was eaten rather than baked, but we enjoyed the process and the final product! As an adult, my step-mother made, and still makes, the world’s best peanut butter fudge! She sends a box to me here in CA every Christmas. And to be honest, I don’t care to share! Thank you so much for letting us relive such lovely memories and I think the idea of including recipes is just brilliant!

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    1. Thanks, Anonymous. (And thanks for emailing me to let me know that Anonymous is really my friend Cheryl.) Thanks for your kind words, my friend and for always liking my writing. I’m delighted to have found a genre that fits me so well (much more than chick lit did since designer clothes and bags have never been my thing 🙂 We made chocolate chip cookies during our Wisconsin winters as well to stay warm and I too ate more of the dough than the final cookies. Your stepmother’s peanut-butter fudge sounds delicious! A fall treat for me every year is when we go to Apple Hill and stop at the fudge factory at High Hill and get a piece of chocolate/peanut-butter fudge. My absolute fave. By the way, since I included recipes in the book, you need to make one of them. Ha! I know you’re not gifted with the baking gene, so maybe we’ll just have to make one of the recipes for you to share when we don’t have to be so socially distanced.

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  25. My grandma made the best coffee cake and doughnuts, using her basic yeast bread dough non-recipe “just a bit of this and enough of that.” The standard of excellence in our family is “almost as good as Grandma’s.”
    A local bakery Sucrose features German baked goods — I love them! ❤

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    1. Coffeecake (the cinnamon kind) was another childhood favorite (although I think my mom, who was not as much of a baker as my grandma, went to a box mix in the ’60s 🙂 Still good, but nothing’s ever quite as good as homemade; right Mary?

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  26. First off, congratulations on your cozy mystery book deals! I know how writing is such a passion of yours and I’m glad you get to write full time now!

    At Christmastime my mom would make Scandinavian cookies called Fatigman. They are thin pieces of dough shaped like an elongated diamond, which are deep fried then sprinkled with powdered sugar. Believe me, you can’t eat just one.

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    1. Hi Diane, thanks. I’m thrilled that I get to write full-time again now. As far as Fatigman, I know exactly what you’re talking about! In fact, the Norwegian version my grandma made is called Fattigman Bakkels & they play a role in Murder Most Sweet. I even included my Grandma Florence’s recipe for Fattigman Bakkels in the back of the book. Love Fattigman!

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  27. Congratulations Laura, I loved the little tease and can’t wait to read your debut mystery. The details in that little tidbit have already drawn me in! Wrapped around the neck of… oh my!

    Every Christmas my Grandmother made us a from scratch Cookie House, held together with a delectable frosting and tantalizing is until Christmas Eve. It was amazing!

    From my other grandmother came holiday butter cookies in the appropriate shape with chocolate chip or cherry eyes. Bunnies and ducks for Easter and Santa and trees for Christmas. We each got our own packet which cut down on the sibling rows.

    I can’t leave my grandfather out though! Every Thursday he did the grocery shopping. My grandparents watched us after school and on Thursday we would wait on the porch for the Van de Camps bakery treat that he would bring us. Lemon or Cherry tarts, warmed in the oven, they had delightful layers with a crunchy top and the filling that would frequently burn my young impatient tongue!

    Lastly (I promise) just last week I discovered the Cheese Danish Kringle at Trader Joe’s imported from what I now know is your home town. Amazing!

    Can’t wait for the read!

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    1. Pamm, I grew up in the Pasadena area and Van de Camps had the best pastries! They had a coffee shop with a windmill on top in Arcadia, I think. My memories are of light pastry, coarse sugar on top, and deliciousness.

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    2. Pamm, thanks so much for stopping by. All your childhood pastry faves sound delicious–especially that from scratch cookie house! And those lemon and cherry tarts from Van de Camps. So glad you discovered the cheesecake kringle from Trader Joe’s. After all the responses to this blog today, I had to run over to Trader’s and pick one up 🙂 When you get a chance, Google O&H Bakery in Racine and check out ALL the kringle flavors on their website. You’ll be drooling. Cherry-cheese is my favorite, followed close behind by raspberry. Much pricier to order through them due to shipping costs, etc., but well worth it for a special treat. (And don’t even get me started on my favorite cake of all time–Danish Layer Cake–that they offer. Unfortunately, it costs over $65! so unless I get a NYT bestseller, I won’t be ordering it anytime soon 🙂

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  28. How lucky were you, Candy? I miss my mom a lot too–yesterday (7/29) would have been her 85th birthday. She passed away 7 years ago and was the biggest cheerleader of my writing. I know that she’d be thrilled to bits to see me restarting my writing career writing cozy mysteries. Just wish she was still here to read it and celebrate with me.

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  29. Congrats on the upcoming cozy – no mystery to me that it will be a success! Still enjoying the weekly advertising emails from O&H Danish Bakery that resulted from your birthday Kringle order a few years back.

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    1. Thanks, Keith. Those O&H emails make my mouth water. BTW, if you’ve got a hankering for kringle, Trader Joe’s has a new one now–a cheesecake kringle! Good, albeit a bit bland; I still prefer some fruit in mine–either raspberry or cherry cheese. Thanks for stopping by!

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  30. Speaking of sweet murder… like the time when my then girlfriend (now wife) brought me a plate of her heirloom oatmeal raisin cookies, topped with her sweet smile; then when I returned home that evening only to discover that my two roommates had “murdered” Every. Single. One! It truly hurts to this day. :\ But now, I still get to enjoy her AND her tangy lemon bars oozy-warm from the oven. All’s well that ends well. 🙂

    Congrats and Godspeed on your renewed literary journey, Laura; I’ll enjoy my next sweet nibbles in your honor.

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    1. Terry, I think I’d have murdered those roommates. Happily, you get to enjoy all the heirloom raisin cookies you want now. And those tangy lemon bars are making my mouth water. Yummy. I love lemon. Thanks for stopping by!

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  31. My mom was such a good cook and baker, it’s tough for me to pick just one. So what I will say is she would make and decorate these beautiful, elaborate birthday cakes. I remember one birthday I asked for a lion face cake and she took the time to bake and cut the cake into the right shape and actually piped the mane, which had multiple reddish shades, to a level that it actually looked like the fur was flowing in the breeze! I remember asking for a giraffe cake another time but she said it was going to be too skinny and there wouldn’t be enough cake to feed the crowd coming over for my party. Lol.

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  32. Toll House Cookies (and I baked them myself using the recipe on the morsel wrapper). I also made a lot of boxed mix cakes.

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  33. Wow, Patty, that lion mane cake sounds amazing! What a great mom to make such elaborate birthday cakes for you. (And I agree with your mom on the giraffe cake–definitely too skinny to feed everyone 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

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  34. Thank you, Edith, and the rest of The Wickeds for having me on your blog–such fun! I loved hearing about everyone’s favorite treats. Excuse me while I go make some cookies now…

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    1. From one Northern California Dane to another, hi & welcome,Linda! Unfortunately, we already picked the winner earlier today. Sorry 😔 (However, if you follow me on FB, Twitter, or IG,, I’ll be doing more giveaways closer to the 9/15 release date.

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  35. This book sounds wonderful and I love the cover. Everything my mom baked was yummy but the strawberry layer cake was the best.

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    1. Thanks, Carol. I’m delighted with the cover too–so fun and colorful,. Strawberry layer cake sounds delicious.

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