Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Christmas Bitch by Jack Lelko - Book Tour + Giveaway



Delaney’s Vanilla and Nutmeg Cookies with White Chocolate Ganache

Hi, everyone!

My name is Delaney O’Leary, author of the new cookbook Seasons Servings, from Nollag Bookery and Bindery.

It might be cliché to say, but this recipe is very near and dear to my heart. My grandmother and I created this cookie recipe back when I was twelve years old. It was Christmas when I was over for one of our weekly cooking sessions.I was going through a spice phase, after my grandmother exposed me to her Chai Pumpkin Bread recipe. (I’ll save that one for a future post.)

This crispy cookie is spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and a little bit of clove. If that’s not enough, you can kick up the sweet factor by coating the top half of the cookie with a white chocolate ganache.

The recipe makes about thirty cookies. I say “about” because if you have someone in your life like my sister, Ophelia, you may find you’re missing a cookie or two by the time you get to adding the ganache.

These cookies are great with a hot cup of tea or coffee. Leave them out this holiday with a glass of milk for St. Nick. They might become his new favorite.

All right, I won’t let this post drag on any longer. I’ll leave you to get baking and enjoying!

Prep Time: ~45 minutes (Note: Time includes cookie prep, ganache prep, and decorating)

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: ~57 minutes

Makes: ~30 cookies

 

Wet Ingredients:

·       6 TBSP (84 3/4 g) Unsalted Butter

·       1 CUP (213 g) Light Brown Sugar tightly packed

·       1 Egg

·       2 1/2 TSP (11 2/3 g) Vanilla Extract

Dry Ingredients:

·       2 CUPS (192 g) Almond Flour

·       1/2 CUP (46 g) Oat Flour (if unavailable, sub with more Almond Flour)

·       1 TSP (4 g) Baking Powder

·       1/2 TSP (1 1/3 g) Salt

·       1/2 TSP (2 g) Nutmeg

·       3/4 TSP (3 g) Cinnamon

·       1/8 TSP (1/2 g) Clove

Ganache

·       1 CUP White Chocolate Chips (Divided)

·       3 TBSP Coconut Oil (Divided)

·       Shimmer Sugar (for sprinkling)

·       Nutmeg (for dusting)

Instructions:

1.     Preheat the oven to 325 °F.

2.     In a bowl or a mixer, cream the butter and the light brown sugar.

3.     Add and combine the egg and vanilla extract to the mixer. 

4.     In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, oat flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. (I like to sift my dry ingredients into the bowl.)


5.     Setting your mixer to low, slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until incorporated. Be sure to turn off the mixer the moment everything is combined.

6.     

7.     Use the back of a spoon to flatten out each ball.

8.     Place the cookies on the center rack of the oven for 12 minutes. You may have to do two to three rounds of baking, given the recipe yields about thirty cookies. (If you would prefer the cookie a little darker and crispier, bake the cookies for 15 minutes instead.) After, place cookies on a rack to cool.

9.  


10.  Working with one cookie at a time, use a spoon or a silicone spatula to spoon the ganache over the top of half of a cookie. (Note: You can actually cover the cookies any way you prefer.)After adding the ganache to the cookie, add a little shimmer sugar to the top of the ganache. (Don’t go crazy with the sugar. The cookie is already sweet.) Repeat the process of ganache and shimmer sugar for the next cookie, and so on.

11.  Allow the ganache to set. (This can take a long time to do. I find it helpful to place the cookies in the freezer for 4 minutes.)

12.  Dust the cookies with a little bit of nutmeg.

13.  Dig in!




Storage:

The USDA notes that homemade cookies can be stored at room temperature for two to three weeks, in the fridge for two months, or in the freezer for eight to twelve months.

Author’s Notes and Acknowledgements:

Delaney O’Leary is a character from the novel Christmas Bitch by Jack Lelko. This cookie is mentioned as one of her creations within the story.

This recipe drew guidance from Ambitious Kitchen Death by Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. (You absolutely should give this recipe a try.)

Thank you to FoodBloggerPro for sharing advice on how to write a recipe blog post and to KingArthurBaking for providing the volume to weight conversions.

 


Christmas Bitch
Jack Lelko

Genre: Magical Realism
Publisher: Nollag Bookery and Bindery 
Date of Publication: 7/27/22
ISBN:978-1-7374566-1-2  
ISBN: 978-1-7374566-0-5  
ISBN: 978-1-7374566-2-9
ASIN:  B0B62XN4W1 
Number of pages: 468 
Word Count:109,900
Cover Artist: Jack Lelko

Tagline: Sometimes Christmas can be joyful, triumphant, AND chaotic.

Book Description: 

The Angel of the city of Nollag is believed to work miracles for those who have lost their way, stepping into their lives to help redirect them toward happiness. Most would vehemently tell you Ophelia O'Leary is not that angel. Some, um, might choose from a list of other descriptors.

Overly confident and unapologetic, Ophelia is known for meddling in the lives and Christmases of her sister, Delaney, and her friends, Petunia Perkins and Calum Dooley. There was also that time she ruined her now ex Gregory McGregor's New Year's with an existential crisis. We also can’t forget that time she popped a Santa in front of a crowded shopping mall. (Oops…) Settle in as Delaney and company recount memories of not-so-silent nights and exposed secrets, trying to sort through Ophelia's antics, including a weaponized fruitcake and, just that one time, a bedazzled taser.

Looking beyond the stuffing and trauma, Ophelia had her reasons for this holiday havoc and giving up her innate ability to be two and a half steps ahead of everyone else. Follow Ophelia and step into the magical world of Nollag to discover that perhaps the best holidays need just a dash of mystery and a pinch of chaos.

Christmas Bitch is a magical realism story that delves into the ideas of identity, forging your own path, and the challenges that come with love. Sometimes, dear reader, things need to fall apart in order to come together.

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A little wisp of a woman was power walking towards Ophelia. Her pristine white gym shoes outshone the snow that crunched beneath their soles. Her hair was in loose curls of a pale yellow. She was decked out in a cranberry jogging suit with the word “DUPA” stitched and bedazzled in large baby pink letters across the backside of her pants.

She was hard to miss. She was Mrs. Fulgencia Wick, a prominent figure in the community as one of the three founders of Nollag’s thriving business association. There was also Mrs. Vitla Slaughter who opened a butcher shop and later expanded her business into a full-fledged grocery store complete with farmer’s market from May to October. Mrs. Forina Baker was the owner of Salty N. Sweets: Sweets and Baked Goods before she turned the business over to her daughter, Cookie, upon her retirement. Mrs. Wick opened and still operated a successful taxidermy shop on the east side of the city and tried her hand at writing bestselling octogenarian erotica novels. Such titles included Past Visiting Hours, That’s Not Rigor Mortis, and The Breath of Life.

Ophelia had played muse to Mrs. Wick nineteen years ago, back when Ophelia was Jucinda Jorgenson. Since her foresight had left her after helping Delaney last year, Ophelia could not read the futures of new prospects. However, she couldn’t help but wonder if she could see into the fates of past clients. Doubtful, she said to herself pessimistically.

She stared intently at the powerwalking elderly woman, who had caught sight of her and was now excitedly waving to her in salutation. An abrupt, and somewhat unexpected, thought jumped into Ophelia’s head like an attention starved Kindergartener. The thought was an image of something that had not yet happened but could: a flash of yellow hair and a floating rectangular sheet of ice. She stopped in her tracks, placing a hand in the air as if to ask time to hold on for a minute, which Mrs. Wick took as a subdued hello.

The flashes of what could be did not used to knock her for a loop. I was pretty sure these weren’t going to happen anymore, she puzzled.

Apparently, unbeknownst to Ophelia, she had one more task to complete.

Her premonition told her that she had a brief meeting only eight feet away from the café in front of Auntie Pasta’s Negozio di SpecialitáItaliane. Don’t worry, though. She reviewed the now fleeting portent. It’ll happen forty-eight seconds after 11:35, or in approximately one minute and twenty-eight seconds…I hope, she added, her intuition, after all, not being what it used to be.

 

About the Author:

Jack Lelko has been drawing and coming up with story ideas since he was single digits. He has a penchant for writing complicated plots and putting twists on fairy tales. His friend, Butler, would like to add, He has a sixth sense, a sight for the story, if you will...he pulls inspiration from nearly every crevice of his world and spins it into another for the pleasure of his readers. Jack’s debut self-publication is Christmas Bitch. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his cat, Natasha Jane Nodognik. This blurb would have been longer, but she was demanding snacks at the time.









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