National Chocolate Day.
National. Chocolate. Day.
I hope you’re all taking the day to appreciate the goodness that is chocolate, in whatever way makes you smile. Here, we’re welcoming Coastal Magic Convention Featured Author Melody Johnson to share a special chocolate memory (and a recipe, and a giveaway!)
Cooking Up a Story
My father is an exceptional cook. His specialties (my favorites) — rice and beans, sancocho, pastelillos, stuffed peppers, chili, goulash and oven-browned potatoes—are a delicious mix between my mother’s traditional Puerto Rican roots and his own German-influenced dishes. They were meals I took for granted in my younger years living at home. Family dinner is one of the memories I miss most after moving to Georgia and one of the highlights of visiting: what’s on the menu in Dad’s kitchen. I learned to muddle my way around the stove in my post-college years, but even following my father’s recipes, his dinners never taste quite the same coming from my kitchen. But they remind me of family, and when the mood strikes, it’s one of the many ways I keep them close to heart even when I’m far from home. More often than me attempting to cook/burn myself, however, I do what I always do when I’m not as good at something as I wish—I give the skill to one of my characters and live through them.
Ronnie Carmichael (one of many secondary characters featured in Sweet Last Drop and Eternal Reign, Night Blood series books 2 and 3) is just as sentimental as me in her cooking, but she is far better at it than I could ever dream of being. Although to be fair, I’m a far better eater than she’ll ever be! For her, plying Walker and the other night bloods with a never-ending supply of pancakes and cookies isn’t about eating; it’s about coming together as a family and taking a moment to make a memory. Life is precious and unpredictable, especially for a night blood; in Ronnie’s experience, memories of loved ones are oftentimes the only thing they leave behind, so like cookies, memories need to be made with love and savored. In the spirit of keeping loved ones close to heart, I’d like to share Ronnie’s Death by Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, so you can take a moment this National Chocolate Day to savor a memory with a special someone.
Death by Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 1/4 Cups Flour
- 2/3 Baking Cocoa
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Butter, Soft
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 Cups Chocolate Chunks
- 2 Cups Peanut Butter Chips
- 2 Cups White Chocolate Chips
Instructions (with tips from the cooking master herself):
- Preheat oven to 350. (Easy.)
- Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. (Still easy.)
- Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer. (Dry ingredients will poof everywhere in direct correlation with your enthusiasm. Attempt to contain your excitement for the eating part of this process.)
- Add eggs one at a time. Beat well. Gradually mix in dry ingredients. (Batter will be THICK! Use your muscles, and don’t break your mixer like I did. Smoke from its little engine is a bad sign.)
- Stir in all chocolate and peanut butter chips. (Taste a few to ensure deliciousness.)
- Drop well-rounded, large cookies on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. (Don’t burn yourself. Elbow high oven mitts are your friend.)
- Let cool for two minutes before attempting to remove them from the cookie sheet (to gobble them whole.)
So — let’s hear from all of YOU! What is your favorite chocolate? Do you have a special chocolate related memory? Leave a comment for a chance to win!!
Melody is offering one random commenter an ebook or audiobook copy of BEYOND THE NEXT STAR, book one in her Love Beyond series, OR book two, SIGHT BEYOND THE SUN, that will be out in January! (If you choose book two, your prize will be delayed until release date of this book.)
A random winner will be chosen from among the comments a week from today.
If you’d like to join Melody and a whole slew of fellow readers and awesome authors for a weekend of bookish shenanigans by the beach… you should DEFINITELY check out the Coastal Magic Convention. February 23-26, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida, Melody and I will be there with everyone for discussion panels, meet & greets, chill time, and a big book signing. **Masks will be required for the duration of the event.** We’d love to see you there!! http://CoastalMagicConvention.com