Here’s an exclusive sneak peek at my upcoming humorous cozy mystery
(From somewhere in Chapter One)
The road ahead splits in two. The sign on the left points us toward the Green Acres Glamping Ranch, while the road on the right leads
to the nearby town of Bear Claw.
I google the town to find out more about it. “Listen to this,” I say to Travis. “Bear Claw, North Carolina, population five thousand and twenty, is a charming little town known for its breathtaking natural beauty, friendly residents, and inexplicable penchant for all things bear-related.” I read off a list of local places, including a brewery and a book store that sound interesting. But what makes me sit up and take notice is the mention of their “world famous” bakery (their words, not mine).
I go to the bakery website and continue reading. “A trip to Bear Claw isn’t complete without a visit to Granny Beary’s Pastries, where the scent of bear claws and homemade pies fill the streets. Our unique secret-recipe blackberry clobber, made by none other than the town’s unofficial mascot, Granny Beary, will leave your taste buds begging for more.”
“Stop, you’re making me hungry,” Travis says.
Paco whines. Me too.
Even Ellie, who has no idea what I’m saying, makes a pathetic little noise under her breath.
Altogether, it’s a lot of drama, considering that we just stopped to eat a few hours ago (dogs included).
“World-famous bakery, huh?” I mutter, staring at the logo—a caricature of an older woman with a white bun and spectacles holding up a steaming hot cobbler. “If it’s so famous, how come I haven’t heard about it before?”
Travis looks at me sideways. “Is that jealousy I hear in your voice?”
“Jealous?” I snort. “Of what?” When I’m not solving crime in my beachside town of Whispering Bay, I’m hard at work in the kitchen at Th
e Bistro by the Beach, the café I co-own with my friend Sarah Powers. As someone who’s known for baking the best muffins in the world (not that I would say that, but others have, and who am I to contradict them?), I’m naturally curious about this so-called “world-famous” bakery.
“The only reason people love cobbler is because of the big fat scoop of vanilla ice cream they always slap on top, but we should make a trip into Bear Claw and check out this bakery,” I say. “More as a professional curiosity than anything else.”
Travis reaches across the seat to take my hand and plants a kiss on my palm. “It’s our honeymoon. Your wish is my command.”
“Mmm … I’m going to hold you to that.”
Blackberry Cobbler recipe below!
I have to say, first off, that I’m not the world’s best baker.
But I do LOVE me some freshly baked goods. I can’t walk past a bookstore or a bakery without going inside.
I searched high and low for blackberry cobbler recipes, and in the end, the easiest and best-tasting was a copycat recipe from Cracker Barrel.
I made this cobbler when my daughter and son-in-law came over for dinner. Everyone loved it, and some of us even had seconds (raises her hand in guilt!).
- 2 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
- 1 cup sugar (you can use less, but you need to use enough to make a syrup)
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 stick of butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the blackberries and sugar, mixing gently. Set aside until a fruit syrup forms around the blackberries (15-20 minutes)
In a separate medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and milk. Stir well, slowly adding the butter in.
When a dough forms, spread it into an ungreased 8-inch square pan.
Spread the blackberry mixture over the batter.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the dough rises and is golden.
Serve while warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!