I love a mystery that I can sink my teeth into, and such is often the case with the “culinary mystery,” a cozy, domestic-type mystery that features both crime and cuisine. My first experience with a culinary mystery was in 1982 with Virginia Rich’s The Cooking School Murders. Rich, a former food columnist, was the author who pioneered this sub-genre.
Another such author is Diane Mott Davidson who created a series of mysteries featuring amateur sleuth and crime-solving Colorado caterer Goldie Bear (where everything is just right). Each book includes original mouthwatering recipes, and the series has grown to such an extent that she has developed over one hundred recipes for Goldy to make and serve as part of her catering business. As a consequence, this past fall, Goldy’s Kitchen Cookbook was published containing all of these recipes. One of my favorites from this book (and there are a LOT of them) is from the second mystery in the series, Dying for Chocolate, called Lethal Layers. They are murderously good!
From Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 -2 cup pecan halves
2 eggs (I used extra-large)
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Additional flour (see below)
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
In a food processor, combine the first three ingredients with a metal blade until coarse crumbs are formed. (Can also be done with 2 knives or a pastry cutter).
Pat as a crust into a buttered 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Spread pecans over cooled crust. (I used the full 2 cups.)
Beat eggs with brown sugar until thick. Add vanilla. Put salt and baking power in the bottom of a 1/4 cup measure, and then fill the rest of the measure with flour. Stir this into egg mixture. Pour this mixture over the pecans and crust. Sprinkle chips over the mixture.
Bake 20 minutes or until center is set. Let cool before cutting.
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