Thursday, December 18, 2008

Silver Bells Teacakes and a Giveaway

About a week ago I was contacted by the publishing company representing author Mary Burton. Mary Burton is a passionate baker as well as author. She developed this recipe for Silver Bells Teacakes in honor of the publication of Silver Bells. Mary Burton joins legendary author Fern Michaels and Joann Ross along with Judy Duarte in creating this holiday collection. Mary's novella is titled Christmas Past.

Mary confesses to a borderline addiction to sweets that is fed by a passion for baking that has become part of her writing routine. Struggling with a plot point, pondering motivation, and wondering if her dialogue is reading smoothly are all triggers for a break from the computer and a sojourn in the kitchen. “When the going gets tough, the tough get baking,” says Mary, who describes the time spent doing so as a chance to relax, focus on the task at hand, ruminate and go back to work refreshed and ready to tackle the relationships, homicides, and police investigations that power her plots.
Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Mary Burton is also an avid cook and even volunteered as a kitchen assistant at a local culinary school to hone her skills.
I agreed to try her new recipe and giveaway two of her books. These tea cakes are easy to make and very tasty.

SILVER BELLS Lemon Cherry Teacake Cookies

¾ cup softened butter

¼ cup softened cream cheese

½ cup of confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon lemon extract

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup of dried cherries

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

½ cup canned cream cheese icing (I used homemade cream cheese frosting I had leftover from making cupcakes. Go here for that recipe)

In a stand mixer, mix together the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in lemon extract and confectioners’ sugar. Sift together flour and salt and mix into creamed butter/sugar mixture. Gently stir in dried cherries and chill for an hour. Form dough into (about 2 inch)balls, flatten with the bottom of a glass or mug, dredge in confectioner’s sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (cookies won’t spread). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 12-15 minutes until set but not browned. Place the cookies on a cooling rack resting over a baking pan. Spoon canned icing into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 15-20 seconds. Stir until smooth and then pour a thin coating over the cookies. Let stand on the rack until the icing hardens. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and garnish with dried cherries.

For fun, I decorate some of the cookies with red and green cream cheese frosting that I had on hand.

I'm giving away two copies of Silver Bells. All you need to do is leave a comment at the end of this post(one per person please!) by 11:59 CST on Saturday December 20. I'll randomly draw two winners from all the entries. Good Luck!


Debbie said...

Oh my...those cookies look delicious! I would love to try them..

Jan said...

I think I'm going to try making these cookies today... YUM! :)

grammy said...

Grammy said
Wonderful.. Tea Cakes [not your usual cookie] hot tea and a good book!!What more could you want? Merry Christmas to all.

apparentlyjessy said...

Silver Bells....Silver Bells... I love that song! Those cookies do look delicious!

Helene said...

Your cookies look yummy.

Pam said...

Great giveaway! The cookies look so festive and tasty. I could eat way too many of those beauties.

Laura said...

A cup of tea and these would bring sighs of pleasure and smiles a plenty!

Elra said...

Wonderful looking cookies, and love the name too, It's so appropriate for the season.

jacquie said...

those do look very yummy indeed.
for the 1st picture - it's a dried
cherry on top - correct? it looks
similar to the bottom of a bell - which i suspect is the effect you were looking for.

Jeanie said...

Colorful cookies!

Candes said...

Yes those cookies do look quite yummy. Mmmm... Merry Xmas to you all! :)

Lynda said...

Oh, my... I can just imagine how these will MELT in your mouth; I can't wait to make some!

noble pig said...

What beautiful cookies and I would love that book!

Grace said...

how delicate and completely delightful! if i drank tea, they'd be the perfect accompaniment. :)

Melanie said...

I love any type of cookie:) These look great.

Brenda said...

The cookies look beautiful and I would love to read the book. Think I'll make the cookies now and read the book later.

J.Danger said...

this plot line sounds oddly familiar! hahaha, too funny.