I know everyone hates cooking websites where the first part has a four-page essay on the bakers’ tragic life story and how it relates to the recipe at hand. However, this is a book blog, not a baking site — and, I hope for your sake, no one is actually here for my advice on baking — so I’m going to prattle on a bit (if you really want, you can skip to the photographs and just read the recipe from there).
My favourite ever cozy mysteries are The Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery series by Molly MacRae. I read all five books within a week about a year ago and I was devastated when I got to the end of the series.
I’m super thrilled to tell you that a new publisher has taken up the series and there will be at least two more books!
Even better, for me at least, I got approved for an ARC of the sixth book, Crewel and Unusual. I don’t often reread books, but since I love this series so much, in preparation for reading Crewel and Unusual, I decided to reread them all. Since I’ve already written reviews, I didn’t want to do that again. Instead, I think I’m going to do a comparison post, looking back at my original reviews and what I think of each book as I reread it.
I also thought it would be fun to try some of the recipes from the series. Like a lot of cozy mystery books, The Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries come with recipes for some of the foods mentioned in the story, and how-to guides for some of the crafts. I’ve never tried to do any before, but I’ve always been tempted. Recently I saw one of my favourite YouTubers, Courtagonist, start a new video series called Cooking with Cozies. This inspired me to finally bite the bullet and do what I’ve been meaning to do for ages: try some of the recipes.
This recipe comes from the fourth book in the series, Plagued by Quilt. The recipe is for Double Dark Chocolate Devastators which Kath, the protagonist, gets from one of her good friends Mel, the owner of Mel’s on Main, the best eatery in Blue Plum (inspired by an amalgamation of real places in Tennessee, which I long to visit!)
Ernestine looked the floor. Ardis sat on the stool behind the counter, hands clasped to her lips, head bowed.
“Do something!” Geneva said. Her agitated fluttering turned into swooping. She flew from one end of the sales counter to the other, then swooped up to the ceiling and down past my left shoulder, around to the front door and back, stopping in front of me. And billowing — never a good sign.
“Do you realise how serious the situation is?” She billowed to within inches of my nose. Look at that plate of cookies. Look at that cookie you left sitting on the counter. Abandoned. Don’t you see what that means?”
“Shh.” I stepped back. She followed.
I can only enjoy those cookies through the vicarious moans that approach indecency when the rest of you eat them. You are so in love with them that you would have a hard time putting one down even to save a damsel tied and flailing on the railroad tracks. Ardis just never met a cookie she did not take one look at and devour whole.”
“I will not. Those abandoned cookies are the case.”
“You have given up.”
“No, I haven’t.”
— Plagued by Quilt, pg. 164
Double Dark Chocolate Devastators.
2 cups all-purpose flour.
Half cup cocoa powder.
2 teaspoons baking powder.
Three quarter teaspoons salt.
4 large eggs.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
Two teaspoons instant coffee.
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar.
Half cup granulated sugar.
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted.
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk eggs, vanilla, and instant coffee together until coffee is dissolved.
Beat butter and sugars together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, approximately 3 to 6 minutes. Stir in egg mixture. Beat in melted chocolate, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Stir in chips.
Scoop dough into balls, 1 to 3 inches in diameter, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are set and tops are cracked but centres are still soft and underdone, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies stand on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
These turned out brilliantly!
They’re a little softer than what I would usually consider to be cookies, almost more like very thin brownies. I think this might be a UK vs US thing though, rather than anything wrong with the recipe. Either way, they’re absolutely amazing and taste delicious. The recipe also makes absolutely loads and I ended up with a massive pile of huge cookies. If I tried this again, which I probably would, the only thing I might change is to use white chocolate chips just to make them a little bit prettier.
If you read this book series, or try this recipe, please let me know how you get on with it.