Willing Victims

To be entirely honest I’m not sure my family really understands a lot about what it is that I do. Sure, they realize that I spend a lot of time in front of the computer. They know I get excited when I complete a draft of a novel or when I get my first glimpse of new cover art. They even have come to expect that I will enthusiastically flit off to conferences a couple of times each year to spend time with other people who also like to think of ways to get away with murder. On occasion they have even attended author events with me and have gotten to see what all that entails.

But the one thing I am absolutely certain they do understand is the taste testing. My Sugar Grove Mysteries include recipes and my family, and sometimes my friends, serve as willing victims for whatever I might dream up. Of course, for them, I always leave out anything lethal from my real concoctions.

They’ve already put their stamp of approval on recipes for Drizzled with Death and Maple Mayhem and now we’re in the thick of things with the third book in the series. I may be met with a few groans when I tell the kids I need to spend a beautiful Saturday at a book store or a library event instead of with them, but I only hear applause when I ask who wants to try something like a Maple Blondie. The recipe they raved about is below. Let me know if your  household likes it too!

Maple Blondies


I stick or ½ cup butter

¾ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 large egg

1 teaspoon maple extract

1 cup all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 8 x 8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a saucepan heat the butter and brown sugar over low heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup, egg, and maple extract. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, nutmeg and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the contents of the saucepan. Whisk together until smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 22-28 minutes.

These are meant to be soft, even a bit undercooked by most baking standards. If this is not to your liking, increase the baking time by three-minute intervals until a desired degree of firmness is achieved.

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About Jessie Crockett

Jessica Estevao writes the Change of Fortune Mysteries. The first in the series, Whispers Beyond the Veil, will release in September 2016. She loves the beach, mysterious happenings and all things good-naturedly paranormal. While she lives for most of the year in New Hampshire with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children, she delights in spending her summers on the coast of Maine where she keeps an eye out for sea monsters and mermaids. As Jessie Crockett she’s the author of the nationally bestselling Sugar Grove Mysteries and the Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Live Free or Die.

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