March 23, 2012

death by chocolate, hold the poison

Who doesn't love a little Death by Chocolate? The frequently used marketing term lures chocolate lovers every where in to spending a few dollars, and calories, on a piece (or 10) of heaven.

When I found out one of my writer tweeps had a book coming out with that same title, I was thrilled.  Julie Anne Lindsey's Death by Chocolate hit the stores last week, and I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced reader copy to indulge my curiosity.

I quickly discovered that I love baking almost as much as the perfect housewife-turned killer Ruby from the story.Who knew I could have the same taste for baked goods as a crazed murderer? With the thought of poisoned chocolate mousses and puff pastries on my mind, I dusted off my apron and went back to the kitchen.

Today's recipe is for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins inspired from the book. Only I didn't lace them with any potential toxins that might inadvertently take out a massive group of people with them. This dish is super easy to make and yields delicious results. Plus, most of the ingredients were items I already had in my pantry. What could be better?

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (You can sub equal portions of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground cloves if you don't keep this in stock like I do.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease or line two muffin pans.

Combine the ingredients in the order they appear in a large mixing bowl. Once well mixed, spoon equal portions into the muffin tins.

Place the muffin tins in oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from muffin tins and allow to cool before serving.

Despite the high sugar and cocoa, these muffins aren't too terrible, coming in at about 200 calories if you care about that. There might be a way of making it with less sugar and fewer calories, but if you want delicious, stick to this.

Yesterday, I took these to the office. Compared to other things I have made and shared, these were pretty popular. My boss ate two, and I received emails from a few co-workers asking for the recipe (here it is if you want it).

I think Ruby would have been proud of me.


Step aside Martha and Abby Brewster, there is a new murdering homemaker in town.

Julie Anne Lindsey's Death by Chocolate is a quirky story about what happens when a woman is pushed to far. Unexpectedly and unintentionally turned into a murder, the main character Ruby must rely on the help of her best friend Charlotte and son Michael to cover her tracks.

The story pays homage to Arsenic and Old Lace, one of my favorite plays, and was well worth the time I spent reading it.

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