We’re back with Emily this week. [She’s the star of Heaven to Betsy, Earth to Emily, and the upcoming Hell to Pay, collectively the Emily mystery series, a spin-off from Katie & Annalise.] Last week we talked to Emily about music (Garth Brooks) and her entertainment recommendation (the Longmire crime thriller series).
Pamela: I’m dying to see a picture of where you live.
Emily: I was afraid you were going to say that.
Pamela: What’s wrong?
Emily: I’ve moved back in with my mother, and she hasn’t remodeled since Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration.
Pamela: You’re going to have to give us a peek now for sure!
Emily: How about I show you Jack’s ranch in New Mexico instead? I promise you’ll enjoy it a lot more.
Pamela: That’ll work.
Emily: It’s my favorite place on Earth. A massive log cabin on a horse ranch in the foothills of the Sacramento mountains. Be still my heart.
Pamela: Wow! I can see why. And what would you be cooking with Jack in that marvelous kitchen if you were there now?
Emily: It’s almost Christmas, so I’d be whipping up some Cream Cheese Spritz cookies. With or without Jack.
Pamela: Can you share the recipe?
Emily: Gladly, and my favorite cookbook, too, which is called Christmas Cookies, believe it or not. Just be sure my mother Agatha Phelps gets credit for the Cream Cheese Spritzes. Those are her specialty. But can I share one more?
Pamela: Of course.
Emily: I’m a vegetarian—which makes me a freak in West Texas—and one of my favorite meals or even snacks is to use Spiced Socca bread as a base for something yummy. I love it with pesto, hummus, or pepper Jack cheese.
Pamela: You know you just mentioned Jack again.
Emily: Did I? Totally a coincidence. But I sense myself running into trouble. Do you have what you need from me?
Pamela: Almost. Okay, your last task for this interview is to pick one of the book club questions for Heaven to Betsy for our readers to answer. I’ll even take a stab at it myself next week. So what is our assignment?
Emily: I was on your website reading the book club questions page earlier. People that don’t like spoilers should not visit. Just sayin’. And boy you know how to make a girl squirm, I’ll give you that.
Pamela: Sorry . . .
Emily: It’s all right. I think I’ll go with: “What one word would you use to describe Emily and why?” And people should remember that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then you shouldn’t say anything at all. Just kidding. Sort of.
AGATHA PHELPS’S CREAM CHEESE SPRITZ COOKIES
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure almond extract
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring (optional)
1 tbsp. butterscotch schnapps
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream together butter and cream cheese; add sugar.
Cream mixture until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolk, beat well; stir in flavorings.
On low speed, gradually add flour and salt.
Cookie dough will be soft and somewhat sticky; adjust consistency if dough seems too sticky, adding a tablespoon of flour at a time; if dough seems too stiff for a cookie press, add a tablespoon of milk at a time.
Shape dough into 3-inch balls and drop into the barrel of a cookie press. Push dough in to eliminate spaces. Press cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with colored sugars or color dough with a few drops of red or green food coloring to make festively colored cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Store in airtight container. Freeze if keeping for more than 2 weeks.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
EMILY BERNAL’S SPICED SOCCA BREAD
2 cups garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup (melted) plus 2 T coconut oil
2 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
Mix with a whisk and let rest at room temperature to thicken for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Ten minutes before you make your bread, use remaining coconut oil as needed in skillets. Let them come to temperature in the oven, then add a thin layer of batter, tilting the skillets for coverage. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are brown and crispy. Top with something yummy like hummus, pesto, or cheese. When I’m feeling extra virtuous, I eat them plain or with ghee instead of butter. My boss likes to use these as flat bread or a pizza base with buffalo ranch chicken. I usually double the recipe.
P.S Don’t forget.. Books are great Stocking Stuffers! Share this blog with your friends and family. Be sure to FOLLOW and get a FREE Puppalicious download just in time for the holidays. Thanks, as always for your support!!
P.S.S. I’m working on my 2016 calendar for Speaking engagements. If you have a favorite Book Club, Library, Women’s group or any event that you think I would be a good fit for . . .shoot me a message. I’d love to hear from you. Here’s a link to sample topics Workshops and Speaking