All month long, we’re featuring some of our favorite authors, along with a quick Q&A and some of their favorite recipes. We’ve got daily giveaways with chances to win some amazing (and steamy!) reads plus a month-long Recipes for Romance Grand Prize Giveaway for a box filled with books and more!
Today Jeffe Kennedy stopped by with a recipe for Sparkly Sugar Cookies!
**Q&A with Jeffe Kennedy**
Maybe decorating the Christmas tree. There are so many things I love, but putting up the tree and getting out all the old ornaments is a real ritual for me. My mom has given me an ornament every year since I was born, so going through them lets me revisit so many memories.
The year my stepfather was dying of a rare form of Parkinsons. We knew it would be our last Christmas with him. We always do our major celebrating on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. By Christmas night, everything is pretty much over and everyone relaxes and hangs. But that year we were afraid that we’d get depressed. So we got tickets to go see Mamma Mia at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. We’d never done a “going out” thing like that on Christmas, but it ended up being the perfect show and a wonderful evening. I’ll remember it always.
An X-rated one. 😀
You know, I love Angels We Have Heard on High. The part where the sopranos sing Glo-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-ri-a in Ex-cel-sis De-o! always gives me the chills, in a lovely way.
For a few years my husband and I were one-upping each other with sex toys slipped into Christmas stockings. That was pretty fun!
Peppermint Mocha in December. Pumpkin Spiced Latte in October and November. 😀
Egg Nog! I’ll have mine with a splash of brandy, please.
Mine is a bit of a hodge-podge, because of the annual ornaments I mentioned, but otherwise I stick to a theme of white lights, pearls and mirrored ornaments.
I have these older pearl lights I love.
I believe in both. There’s virtue in graciously receiving, too.
**About Jeffe Kennedy**
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.
Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency. A contemporary e-Serial, Master of the Opera, will be released in January. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, will hit the shelves in 2014. A spin-off story from this series, Negotiation, appears in the just-released Thunder on the Battlefield anthology.
She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.
Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy.
We can’t wait to try out Jeffe’s delicious recipe for:
**Sparkly Sugar Cookies**
Message from Jeffe:
I’d love to say this is my grandmother’s recipe or some such, but I got it from one of my favorite baking eye-candy sites. My family loves sugar cookies, but we’d all been a little dissatisfied with the ones we’d been making. I tried out this recipe a couple of Christmases ago and Bam! Instant new favorite.
Fair warning, though: they are like crack. I make one batch a year and spend the other eleven months working them off and dreaming of the day I get to have them again.
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract (use the real stuff, not the imitation flavoring)
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt (if you used salted butter, skip this)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. On this step, it’s hard to go too long. Let that sugar really melt in. Add in the eggs and egg yolks, one by one, mixing until smooth. Add vanilla and almond extracts gradually, mixing until smooth.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, salt (if you’re using it) and baking powder. Gradually sift this mixture into the creamed butter mixture, beating constantly.
- Cover the bowl with an airtight seal or wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Working with a fist-sized ball of dough at a time, on a flour-sprinkled surface, roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin to about ¼” thick. (Keep the rest of the dough in the fridge while you work, so it stays nice and cold.) Use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes or, if you don’t have them, a drinking water glass will work just as well. Bake each batch for 6-8 minutes and let cool on a wire rack. When I get a good rhythm going, I can roll out and cut one batch while the other bakes.
- Let the cookies cool completely before frosting.
To make the (very basic) icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk (I use skim or 2% and it’s fine. Not that it matters with all that butter, but it’s what I usually have on hand.)
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- Mix together in a bowl. You want it to be very thick, so if it turns out runny, just add a little more powdered sugar.
- I love the white and gold look for Christmas, because it adds a nice touch of glamour. So I leave the frosting white and use these fabulous decorative sugars from Williams Sonoma: here and
- Just smear the icing on the cookie—you can see I do spots on some and whole cookies on others, since everyone likes different amounts of frosting—and immediately sprinkle with your sugars.
- There are lots of fun color schemes to play with, if you’re feeling frisky, too.
**About Five Golden Rings**
On the first day of Christmas, my lover gave to me…
Matilda Campbell’s plans to spend Christmas solo in the sun take an erotic turn when she encounters the handsome and enigmatic Miguel D’Oro on the plane to Mexico. As the CEO of a major firm, Tilda’s used to being the one in charge–but now she’ll have to learn how to take orders instead.
In the spirit of the season, Miguel offers Tilda naughty gifts for each of the twelve days of Christmas. There’s just one rule: she must accept them–and fulfill his commands–or face the sensual consequences. Intrigued and aroused, Tilda agrees to let Miguel take control of her pleasure.
What follows is a week unlike anything she’s ever experienced. From choosing her sexy new wardrobe and naughty accessories, to pushing her boundaries with BDSM play, Miguel satisfies every forbidden craving. But as their time together runs out, she must decide if there’s room in her real life for her holiday lover and her newly discovered kinky side.
Other Books in Facets of Passion Series:
Other Books by Jeffe Kennedy:
Don’t forget to enter our month-long Recipes for Romance Grand Prize Giveaway for a box filled with books and more!