Friday, November 20, 2009

Writing Inspires. . .


Yes, you read that correctly. For me, writing inspires baking. And no, I'm not writing cookbooks. However, I do love reading a novel that includes a recipe or two that the characters enjoyed within the pages of the story. As a result, I've been toying with the idea of including at least one recipe at the end of each of my novels.

In my current wip, I'd pick the Pumpkin Spice Scones that my heroine created in her gourmet kitchen at the Woodcrest Inn Bed & Breakfast. As I typed that scene (and yes, it did include tension, as the guests happened to be the hero's doting parents) I just had to search for a recipe to match the rich pumpkin flavored, moist scone with delicate icing swirled on top that Rebekah, the Innkeeper, presented to her guests with evening tea.

So, of course, I Googled and found the following recipe on which I just had to test. A good writer does her research, even if it costs her tighter pants. Right? And a break away from writing the novel.

From my story to your kitchen, here you have a sneak peak at what Rebekah might serve you if you joined her for tea.

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tbsp. cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 Tbsp. half-and-half
1 large egg

Powdered Sugar Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. whole milk

Spiced Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. I bake mine on stoneware, but be careful they don't burn if you use a metal pan.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.

Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long by 3 inches wide). Use a large knife to slice the dough twice through the width, making three squares. Cut each square on a diagonal to create a total of 6 triangles for baking.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Just until light brown. Take care not to overcook. Cool on wire rack.

Whisk each of the glazes. Using a pastry brush, once scones are cool, brush the first icing all over the top of the scones. Then once the white glaze is firm, swirl the spiced glaze over top. (I scoop it into a sandwich back, cut a small tip off one of the corners and press it through the opening into a swirl pattern on each scone.)


These are especially nice with Pumpkin Spice Tea, and my whole family loves them. So glad Rebekah served these at her Inn, or I would have never thought to look up the recipe. So yes, writing inspires baking for me. Have your characters ever had you recipe hunting? Recipe testing?

Have a great weekend everyone, and blessings prayed for you all!!

Surrendering to Him,



Tabitha Bird said...

Oh they sounds soooo yummy. But alas,I am trying to be good and I would have to pay for pumpkin scones in the boxing gym! My coach would not be happy with you for giving me the recipe :)

Anonymous said...

Ohhh they look delicious! Thanks for the recipe Eileen :)

This is Dreamdancer, aka Roxy. I'm moving my blog and I hope you will join me on my new one:

Hugs and God bless!

Jody Hedlund said...

I'd love a dozen please!!! Those sound so good! Pumpkin usually makes things so moist doesn't it? I love that you're writing inspires your baking. I'm just glad mine doesn't or I'd never get my writing done! :-)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Mmmmm, sounds heavenly! Cold weather inspires baking to me. Fore me, writing just inspires EATING!!!! lol

Katie Ganshert said...

Drooling! Yummmmm!

Your post also reminds me how much richer our writig becomes when we are specific. You could have just said scone...but your writing takes on so much more flavor (excuse the lame pun) when you add pumpkin spic scone.

Oh, yumm!

Have a super blessed Friday, Eileen!

Sarah Forgrave said...

My characters have never had me recipe hunting or testing yet, but I'll be baking a cake today for my son's birthday. I'm sort of ashamed to admit I'm using the box variety though. :-/

Georgiana Daniels said...

LOL! You are so right about researching for accuracy at all costs! I think you're on to something. Maybe my characters should have cheesecake....

Patti Lacy said...

Oh, I LOVE scones--especially pumpkin. Thanksgiving breakfast--here we come. We run the Turkey Trot (3 mile race) and will come home, clean up, and munch on these as we prepare the feast!

When you get time, check out my blog question. Help needed!!!

Joanne said...

Ooh, that looks so good. Esp right about now with a morning coffee. You've taken "research" to a new degree ;)

Jessica Nelson said...

Right now I'm really wishing I lived next door to you. :-)

Carla Gade said...

I like it when the author has "extra" at the end of a novel. Discussion questions, recipes, etc. It involves the reader in a special way. I love that recipe!! I think I must try it and I like Patty's idea for using it for Thanksgiving breakfast. Yummmmmmmy!

Stephanie Faris said...

That sounds delicious. And I think it would be great to have the recipe for something in your book included with each of your novels.

Anna Scott Graham said...

Looks and sounds de-lish! Have a happy baking and writing weekend!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hmm... no, they haven't. Not yet. My newest MC might, though. It sounds like something she would do. :0)

Have a great weekend!

Julie Dao said...

That makes me soooo hungry!! Thanks for sharing the recipe :) I hope you have a great weekend!

Natalie said...

YUM! I love anything made with pumpkin! And what a great idea to include a recipe at the end of your book.

Tana said...

I love you for sharing this recipe! I have way too much canned pumpkin so this will be done. I'll let you know how they come out. If I could I would bake at least once a day. It's a great stress reliever for me. I often substiute oil for water and no one is the wiser. Everything stays moist! BTW, You are the WINNER of my book giveaway. I forgot to announce it on the blog. (I'll get to that) email me your addy or wherever you want it sent when you get a chance. OXOX T

Jill Kemerer said...

Those scones sound and look so delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Have a great weekend!

Regina Quentin said...

Thank you thank you thank you for this recipe. I had something similar at a party recently and loved it. I wanted to be able to recreate it.

P.S. I love books with baking as well. I'm a big fan of Joanne Fluke's novels.

Erica Vetsch said...

MMMM These sound delish!

I like a book that includes a recipe or two...though I'm not a fan of silly is that?

Cindy R. Wilson said...

How fun that writing inspires cooking for you. I love trying new recipes and think that would be a great thing to include in a book!

I don't know if I've ever been inspired by a scene I've written to bake but I've definitely been inspired to do other things.

Lily Whalen said...

I love books that include recipes, too - I'm a fan of mysteries by Joanne Fluke (I'm with you, Regina!) and now Tamar Myers, who also utilizes that added value!

Thanks for sharing the pumpkin scone recipe, but I'll have to pass for now. Speaking of tighter pants, I have gained 6 pounds in the last month. I have been a very bad girl - and right before Christmas, too! :(

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Since I don't do much baking, it never occurred to me to include a recipe in my novel. I'm sure your readers will appreciate the added value to your books. :)


quietspirit said...

I'll forgive you for tempting me.:) The scones sound scrumptious.

Susan R. Mills said...

Yum! I'm marking this post so I can come back and use this recipe. I'm not much of a baker, but I do it for something this delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Karen Lange said...

What a wonderful idea! That recipe looks great, too. I think I am going to have to try it:) Thanks a bunch.

Keli Gwyn said...

I don't enjoy cooking, so recipes don't do a whole lot for me. An offer of a meal out? Well, that's another story. :D

I read a fun book a few months back in which the heroine learned that she really enjoyed cooking. Sandra D. Bricker, the author of Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, included recipes in the book. I'd never seen that done before, but I thought it was clever--even if I wasn't inspired to try them myself.

KelliGirl said...

Writing doesn't inspire a desire to bake, but reading delicious pumpkin scone recipes does! Yum, I'll have to try these.

Have a great weekend!

Heather Sunseri said...

Mmmm. those and a great cup of coffee sound incredible!

Terri Tiffany said...

Is that a picture of one you made?? Wow! I really really want one after reading that recipe! I bought pumpkin stuff today--hmmm

Amy DeTrempe said...

This is the first time a blog has made me hungry, I think. It is fun to add food to a story. My heroine in my next novel to be released cooks a meal for the hero and his fiance. It doesn't go over well with said fiance and her mother.

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Eileen Astels Watson said...

Terri, no that's from google. Never thought to take a pic from my batches. Though, they come out very similar, only half the size, because I make mine smaller for snack time. I get 12 out of one batch, instead of the six they call for.

Tara McClendon said...

I've never been inspired to bake, but I've been inspired to eat while reading. Especially when food is described in a luscious way.

Anita said...

Eileen, thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting. :)
I am going to follow your blog too. I've paged through a little and feel that I will enjoy hearing your thoughts and writing tips.

Clementine said...

Yum! And just in time for Thanksgiving too! I cook because I have to. It's never been something that I can't wait to get to, so thank you for the recipe! I also want to thank you for your encouragement on my blog. This writing thing is one wild ride, isn't it? I'm glad the Lord is in control, because I would have wrecked it by now.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Eileen, I love pumpkin anything, and I think the idea of ending each of your books with a recipe is a fabulous idea. I think recipes at the end of books gives readers and chance to connect with the writer and story in a way that makes it more tangible and involves the sense of taste. Plus, it's something to look forward to at the end of a story, which is always a little sad if it's a good one. :)

Diane said...

Sounds super yum. Neat that it was part of your scene. :O)