Jenn McKinlay

New York Times Bestselling Author

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Jenn McKinlay's News #5

April 3, 2013

Book News:

The 5th Cupcake Bakery mystery GOING, GOING, GANACHE was released yesterday!

My new London hat shop series, starting with CLOCHE AND DAGGER, is getting ready to debut on August 2013!

Events:

Saturday, Apr 6th at the Poisoned Pen @ 2pm - I'll be signing Going, Going, Ganache And yes, there will be cupcakes!

Saturday, May 4th at the Burton Barr Central Library from 10-4, I'll be joining 9 other mystery authors for Cozy Con -- $40 for lunch and loads of goodies!

Saturday, July 6th at the Arizona Biltmore I will be participating in the Poisoned Pen's all day mystery event! Details to be announced.

What's on my mind?

April is always a big month for me for two very good reasons. First, it is my wedding anniversary and second spring has finally taken root. Ha! See what I did there? Spring? Root? Very punny - I know.

The wedding anniversary is a big deal because quite honestly, I spent most of my life not planning to marry. Not that I have anything against marriage. It just wasn't part of my agenda. I blame my brother. We're Irish twins and since he is only 11 months older than me, I just did whatever he did. I mean, really, why play house when you can play pirates?

This attitude pretty much shaped my formative years. My poor mother used to put me in a dress every day and then as soon as her car pulled out of the driveway, she was a high school librarian, I ran back upstairs and changed into my play clothes (jeans and T-shirt) and then went to school. This went on until my second grade teacher sent home a note ratting me out because she was concerned that I was wearing the same clothes to school every day and, yeah, I kind of smelled.

Suffice to say, my mother got stiffed. She did not get a mani-pedi buddy in her little girl, no instead she got a pre-adolescent who announced that she was going to travel the world and have four children but never marry. Yes, I did! I think it is a testament to her Connecticut Yankee constitution that she didn't stroke out but just smiled and nodded and said, "We'll see."

Fast forward a few years and a few boyfriends later and there I was married to the other half to our whole. Mom was quite relieved. So April is always a favorite month for me because it really does make me believe in the unexpected. Sort of like gardening in central Arizona, I am always delighted when my peach, apple, and plum trees bloom and later fruit. Spring always amazes! As does life!

Thanks so much for being the fabulously supportive readers that you are and I hope there is something amazing in store for each and every one of you this April!

Recipe for sharing:

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. In a medium-sized bowl, combine sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture until thoroughly combined. Scoop the batter evenly into paper liners. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let cool before frosting. Makes 24.
Ganache Frosting
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a boil then remove it from the heat. Stir in the chocolate until it is melted and smooth, then stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Let the ganache stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, then move to the refrigerator and chill until the ganache thickens and becomes shiny and spreadable. This could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the temperature of your refrigerator.

Garnish idea: Pomegranate seeds or a chocolate dipped strawberry.