I hope you are all having a lovely October so far and are fully embracing Autumn and the spooky season. Today we have a very special guest post that I have been so excited to share with you but I thought I would add it to blogtober as it fits very well with the content. I just want to say a massive thank you to the wonderful Corrine Pritchett for organising this guest post between Kelle Z. Riley. Who also deserves a massive thank you for this! Also get excited because we have a book review of Kelle’s Read my lips real soon!
Let’s get into the blog post!
I’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite season, as there is something in each to love. Autumn, however, is extra full of goodies. Not only does it bring brilliant colors and a welcome nip in the air (to those of us in the right climate, of course), but it is also the gateway to holidays and celebrations. Autumn is filled with promise and nostalgia. Autumn holds the scent of pencil shavings from the back-to-school says of my youth, the aroma of chili bubbling on the stovetop, and the fragrance of pumpkin-spiced everything.
Autumn also heralds a time of rest. A time when nature sleeps, reenergizing herself for the chaos that will return in spring. Seeds lie dormant, bears hibernate, and humans head inside as early darkness falls. We feel less inclined to do things and more inclined to enjoy what we have. There isn’t much better than cuddling under a light blanket, sipping hot cocoa, and indulging in a new novel.
As I share memories of Autumn with you, I am reminded that the temperatures and tastes of the season are incorporated throughout my books. Heroines who relocate to the Caribbean Kingdom of my creation enjoy visits to the American Midwest yet find the autumn chill leaves them longing to return to their new homes. Conversely, the heroine born in the islands feels energized by the cooler temperatures. Love can turn anyplace into a home. Even though book one of the Riches & Royals series (Read My Lips) take place in spring, a nip is still in the air, and the taste of hot cocoa makes more than one appearance. Of course, how could it not, given that my hero is a chocolatier?
Speaking of hunky men and yummy treats, another reason to love the cooler seasons is that special time between Thanksgiving and Christmas (or other year end celebrations). It’s the time when I want to reach out to my friends and neighbors to give them a gift from my hands, and my heart. How do hunky men figure in, you ask? Well, my husband and personal hunk is a professional baker. Together we have a tradition of baking holiday cookies to package and send to friends along with our seasonal greetings. One of my favorite photos is Tom mixing cookie dough with his hands, his wedding ring visible as he kneads. We usually create half a dozen or more varieties, playing with flavors, textures, and other aspects of the bake. (I am a chemist in real life and have zero fear when it comes to modifying a recipe.) My favorite creation is the butter pecan shortbread cookie. As my autumn gift to All Things Gee, I’ll share our recipe.
So, bake a batch, grab a cup of cocoa, curl up with your blanket, and dive into a new book. After all, it’s that time of year!
Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies
- 1 ¼ C all-purpose flour
- 6 Tbs brown sugar
- ½ C chopped pecans
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Granulated white sugar (for decoration)
- Preheat oven to 325 F
- Cut butter, sugar and flour together.
- Add pecans and vanilla. Knead till smooth.
- Cover and chill for 1 hr.
- Roll chilled dough till ½” thick
- Cut into small strips or rounds with knife or cookie cutter
- Dip cookies into granulated sugar (front and back) and place 1” apart on parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Prick each with a fork.
- Bake until just slightly brown (~ 12 min., depending on oven)
How amazing do these cookies sound! Cannot wait to give these a go myself! What are your favourite autumn recipes?