Devil's Food Cake Murder By Joanne Fluke - AR Book Club Blog at - 268490

AR Book Club

Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke 
Feb. 25, 2012 2:05 am 
Updated: Feb. 26, 2012 9:54 am
This is the selection for Saturday, February 25, 2012.

Devil's Food Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #14)
This is the book to be discussed on February 25, 2012.

Some of us were inspired to try out the recipes. Others tried out a tweaked version of a recipe. Some of us just read the book. All are welcome to come and let us know what they thought of the book, the recipes or both!
I made these Carrot Oatmeal Muffins as suggested by the recipe in the book. I tweaked them by using all whole wheat flour, and honey instead of the sugar. We enjoyed them!

Nutmeg Snaps .The original version and Sueb's tweaked version are below.

Sueb's Nutmeg Softies

1 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2T molasses

1 medium egg

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground nutmeg or

½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup chopped dried pears

(measure after chopping)

Extra sugar

You will notice that there are some differences in the amounts and kinds of ingredients! To make either kind of cookie dough, the steps are basically the same, though.

Cream the butter (original) or shortening (Sueb's) with the sugar. When smooth, add the molasses (Sueb's) and eggs. Add the dry ingredients. All purpose flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg if you're making the original, whole wheat flour, baking powder and nutmeg if you're making Sueb's recipe. Combine until smooth. Fold in chopped dried fruit.

The author suggested chilling the dough for several hours in the original recipe. If making Sueb's variation, chilling the dough isn't necessary.

Shape dough into balls, roll in additional sugar. These should be placed on a greased cookie sheet or a pan with parchment paper. Bake for 8-12 minutes at 350. The original recipe indicated that she timed her's for 11 minutes, I timed mine for 10 minutes. Let these set on the pan for several minutes after removing from the oven before placing on a cooling rack. The original recipe yielded 6 dozen, Sueb's recipe yielded 3 dozen.

I'm sure the original recipe would have tasted good! I know that the soft variation that I made up was very tasty!

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Chocolate-Covered Raisin Cookies (AR Book Club- Devil's Food Cake Murder)

Made this recipe after having read Devi's Food Cake Murder. The recipe should be entitled, "Butterscotch Chocolate-Covered Raisin Cookies" because the butterscotch taste is so predominant.

Cookies, cookies and more cookies!!!

Marianne sent this photo and review:

tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Raspberry Vinegar tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Cookies. . I used my black and raspberry vinegar,but I didn't have any rum extract, so I used my fiori di sicilia extract (one of King Arthur's). These are excellent cookies! I will have to try them with rum extract when I get it! I did enjoy this book, too!


Mini Mac Cookies AR Book Club

Joanne Fluke AR Book Club Devil's Food Cake Murder Recipe

Some of us have had a chance to try out new recipes! Some have read the book! Some have done both! Please leave your comments!!!

Feb. 25, 2012 2:14 am
Marianne's entry should read (I'm sorry I didn't catch that before entering the blog!): Raspberry Vinegar Cookies. . I used my black and raspberry vinegar,but I didn't have any rum extract, so I used my fiori di sicilia extract (one of King Arthur's). These are excellent cookies! I will have to try them with rum extract when I get it! I did enjoy this book, too!
Feb. 25, 2012 4:18 am
I keep forgetting to jot down recipes after reading the book. I loved this book. It was strange how Matthew was not the one who was murdered. He looked just like ? (Paul, can't remember the name). What did you think of Hannah's cat? It was funny how he got a hold of her socks and got them of top of the refrigerator.
Feb. 25, 2012 4:21 am
I have read other books by Joanne Fluke. She has 2 boyfriends. One is a policeman and the other (I forgot what he does). You've gotta read the other books. I can not remember the titles. I think there are 5 more. There all great!
Feb. 25, 2012 5:04 am
Regarding the cookies I made, after they sat for a while, I did notice a slight baking soda-ish taste to them. But still good. Of the three books we've read so far, this one was my favorite. While it is difficult to come into a series after it's begun, it was still fun. I could tell that the author was alluding to past events, however. The recipes in the book were interspersed throughout the book with full details--which I liked--and listed with page numbers at the end. We have a number of people on the Buzz who either do or have worked in a bakery or who work from home baking for others. It seems like it would be a fun job, and one you'd have to get used to because you'd probably want to eat all your profits in the beginning! Thanks, again, Sue for putting this altogether for us! It's a lot of work!
Feb. 25, 2012 5:44 am
I didn't get a chance to make anything, but loved the book. I have read the Swenson books before and enjoyed them. That's where the Koolaid cookie comes from. I wanted to make the brownies plus, but there wasn't any recipe. She writes a very easy read. I like these better than the Scones n Bones author.
Feb. 25, 2012 6:53 am
This was the first time I had ever read any of Joanne Fluke’s books. Ms. Fluke’s style of writing is unique in that she creates her story around recipes. I am sure the winners of the Mystery Guild recipe contest were honored to have their recipes win and be included in this book. One of the winners – Edwina Gadsby’s winning entry was the recipe for Chocolate-Covered Raisin Cookies and I made this recipe. It should be named butterscotch something or other because butterscotch is the flavor that is so predominant. I also made the Mini-Mac Cookies and if I made those again, I would drop them versus put them in mini liners. As to the actual story, Hannah the main character seems to be more successful in baking than in selecting guys to fall in love with. She had two choices, Mike, who is the chief detective at the Sheriff’s Office and Norman, the town dentist. Mike has a roving eye and Norman has a past with a fellow dentist. Neither are good choices. The real hero in this whole story is Grandma Knudson! I had a hard time staying interested in this book and its only redeeming quality for me was the recipes. Thanks sueb for heading up the AR Book Club!
Feb. 25, 2012 7:02 am
I take it that everyone wants to see how the recipes turn out more than the book. I'm a reader. Sure everyone has their preference in books; love stories, fiction, non fiction, etc. I for one do not like Heat. That's coming up in 4 weeks.
Feb. 25, 2012 7:04 am
What did I think of Hannah's cat - that cat was a smart character. I thought someone was placing the socks on top of the refrigerator and it turned out to be the CAT!lol Does anyone think that Delores (Hannah's Mother) is sick and that was the reason she was seeing Doc Knight?
Feb. 25, 2012 7:09 am
Shearone, regarding Delores---it depends on how old she is. Sounds like she is acting out a bit--either trying out a second childhood or has the beginnings of dementia. My mother got all flirty and little-girl-like when she first started losing her memory.
Feb. 25, 2012 7:17 am
I also had a bit of a time following the story at times. Many characters that were in other books and probably fleshed out there. Maybe Delores and the Dr. are getting cozy. Anybody try the good kitty cake? I want to try the Condensed Milk recipe also.
Feb. 25, 2012 7:51 am
Marianne - valid point. I didn't even think of the possibility of dementia. You are so right that is one of the symptoms of dementia :( ibbz: I want to try the Substitute for the Condensed Milk. I have tried other recipes for Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk and I cannot get past the taste of powdered milk! Yuck! If someone has a recipe or can tell me how to arrive at a suitable replacement, please share. I've tried some of the recipes on AR and I have been disappointed. I just buy and pay through the nose!! I have a love relationship with Eagle Brand!lol
Feb. 25, 2012 8:45 am
I love Eagle brand too. It costs more than the store brand though. I should have written down the Sweeten Condensed milk recipe. Maybe someone will post it. Ibbz, there are a lot of names throughout the story and I had to jot them down and who they were. When I got to the part where Matthew was not killed then I thought "huh? who was?". As I continued to read further, I think the guy's name was Paul, was identical to Matthew. I loved Delores! How about that dance number she did! lol! just to get out of the place.
Feb. 25, 2012 8:48 am
I've read all of Joanne Fluke's books and enjoyed them all. I did not write downany of her recipes though. I should have. I'll go back to my local library and check them out again. I know one is title "Cupcake Murderer"
Feb. 25, 2012 10:28 am
I've read other of Joanne Fluke's books. A light read (nothing like the next book-it's killing me in parts to get through Heat but I'll save my comments for next time). I enjoyed her book but my favorite part was that there was an index for her recipes. I didn't have to keep paging through to find the recipes. I made the Butterscotch bonanza bars which were very easy to do. I don't care for the taste of the butterscotch chips but I put it on a bakery tray for a shower I was doing and everyone loved them. I also served them to people we had over but they'll eat anything and they gave them high marks too. I don't take pictures so I don't have any to show you but they cut up nicely and I'll make again but maybe try one of the other suggestions. I also made the the Chocolate Euphoria cookie bars and I won't make these again. They are very sweet but I used the oreo cookie crumbs and followed the directions exactly but the bottom was said to be like wet sand looked way to wet and after baking didn't get much better. Very hard to cut while warm which the recipe said to do but it just spread all back again and when cold it's very hard to cut. I've been eating them but couldn't take them to the Church function I was planning on taking them to. I think I can come up with a better recipe for these and maybe in the future I'll try something different with the recipe. I still have the book and if anyone wants a recipe let me know and I'll post it. Have to make lunch for the family but will post the Sweetened condensed milk recipe shortly. Luvs2cook did you want the substitute recipe too or just the SCM recipe. Let me know and I will post it.
Feb. 25, 2012 12:15 pm
Interesting how we all have different takes on the book. I saw the ending right at the beginning when she discussed Matthew and Paul as kids. I found all the extraneous characters confusing. I copied the recipe for the dairy free condensed milk for future reference and plan to make the Raspberry Vinegar cookies (tweaked to use white vinegar, almond extract and chopped almonds) for a function tomorrow. ~~ I have to admit I am a bit leery, I made the Florentine Quiche from Crunch Time, which was just alright after I tweaked it and I made the Lemon Scones from Scones and Bones and they were a disappointment. ~~ I am looking forward to starting to read Heat, I picked it up from the library this morning. ~~ BTW, I have put the recipes in my recipe box for any of those I have made from the books we read.
Feb. 25, 2012 12:17 pm
The recipe for Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk is in my recipe box. If anyone else wants a recipe let me know and I'll type it up.
Feb. 25, 2012 1:52 pm
I'm glad that people have read this book! I first zeroed on the recipes, then I read the book. I had just read to the page where the muffin recipe was when I was tempted to make them! I didn't want to get apricots, and I had (still have) many pears I dried last summer, so I used those to make the Nutmeg Cookie recipe. This is the first Joann Fluke book I have read. I love her style of writing recipes! It makes you feel like she is in the kitchen making comments while you work with the food!
Feb. 25, 2012 3:44 pm
Rats, sounds like everyone enjoyed the book. I still haven't got it through my library yet. All the recipes look great!
Feb. 25, 2012 3:48 pm
Grabbed the recipe from you. ty.
Feb. 25, 2012 3:51 pm
Oh the subject of "Heat". After about 30 pages I have put it down and taken it back to library, not my kind of read.
Feb. 25, 2012 3:59 pm
This is not my favorite book by this author. I found the plot evident early and am impatient with Hannah's indecisiveness regarding Mike the policeman and Norman the dentist. I do like Ms. Fluke's recipes and have bought her cookbook, "Lake Eden Cookbook", which has a storyline of its own that incorporates recipes from her other books. Awaiting the next book by Ms. Fluke, and for the next discussion here, too. It's nice to see how others view a book, whether it's liked or disliked.
Feb. 25, 2012 6:32 pm
This was an easy book to read. It had a very folksy style.
Feb. 26, 2012 9:54 am
Luvs2Bake – Hope you check back to the blog. Thank you for sharing the Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe. The original recipe from the book calls for ¾ cup of sugar vs. ¼. Thought you might want to make the correction.
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About Me
Married and mother
My favorite things to cook
New England style food--vegetarian baked beans and brown bread. For Christmas, we need Kringla, and rosemary fudge. Valentine's Day isn't the same without cinnamon hearts, clove hearts, and peppermint hearts (these are all cream cheese mints). For Thanksgiving we use my great grandmother's plum pudding recipe to make figgy pudding.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, for each batch of cookies that are baked, 1/2 dozen go into the freezer. On Christmas, we assemble all the 1/2 dozens on a platter. It's a wonderful variety! The kids want 2 dozen of each kind of candy saved!
My cooking triumphs
New recipes! We've (the family) all won at state fairs. We love to come up with new ideas, then experiment!
My cooking tragedies
When I was called to the hospital because of a family emergency, I forgot to turn off the stove while cooking chicken. I returned home to a house that smelled awful! That was just a little while before overnight guests arrived! Another time, when I was canning sweet pickles, I had 7 quarts of hot sticky pickles in glass jars come crashing to the floor. Talk about a mess!
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