Friday Feast is hosting my good friend and talented author Peggy Jaeger! We're celebrating her upcoming new Christmas story, Fixing Christmas! Before we take a peek into this delicious story and Peggy's recipe, let's hear what she has to say...
A Message from Peggy Jaeger
In Fixing Christmas – A Dickens Holiday Romance ~ Dorrit’s Diner, Abra Charles loves to bake. She bakes when she wants to binge on cookies, when she’s stressed, and when she’s trying to let her writing mind rest to figure out a plot hole.
When she bakes 5 dozen snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, and chocolate chip cookies while trying to work her way out of the latest plot hole she’s found herself in in her current book, she offers some of the cookies to Colton Bree, who is astounded at the amount of baking she’s done.
Abra’s loves of baking comes from helping Dicken’s own Christmas store – Trim-A-Tree -- owner, Matilda Cudworth with her baking during the holiday shopping season. Matilda offers fresh cookies to shoppers daily and always runs out by the end of the day. When she was a teen, Abra worked in the store to make extra cash for college and learned how to bake at Matilda’s knee.
Snickerdoodles are Colton’s favorite cookie and, incidentally, also happens to be my husband’s. This is my recipe – tried and true – for making his favorites whenever he asks for them. The photo is actually a screen shot of my very own recipe book version. I’ve also included a copy of the recipe that’s universal, instead of making you all try to understand my handwriting! LOL
What’s your favorite cookie recipe for the holidays? Mine is plain ol’fashioned sugar cookies. Can’t beat’em!
Tell me yours in the comments below!
Classic Snickerdoodles, a Holiday treat!!! 1/2 cup salted butter, softened 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar 2 eggs 2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar and the eggs and mix thoroughly with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, and stir into the shortening mixture. 3. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon.
4. Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (1 tablespoon per ball), and roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar. Arrange the dough balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets or parchment covered cookie sheets. Bake two sheets at a time until the edges of the cookies are set but the centers are still soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely. Serve warm on Christmas Eve! Makes abt 4 dozen plus a few more.
Christmas has never filled writer Abra Charles with undiluted pleasure. If you’d been left on a doorstep on Christmas Eve morning, you might have a few issues with the holiday as well.
Abra’s avoided her hometown of Dickens for the past twenty Christmas seasons, but now she’s returned in an attempt to get her writing mojo back. Twice-divorced and with her third engagement ending in heartbreak, anger, and blackmail, Abra is now six months behind on submitting her current book. She hopes renting Copperfield House and immersing herself in solitude will cure her writer’s block and get her life back on track. The house she rents isn’t helping her achieve her goal, though, as one thing after another breaks, collapses, or floods.
Colton Bree, Dickens’ very own Mr. FixIt can’t help but wonder if the new resident of Copperfield House is cursed. After being called to repair a broken window, he’s then needed to fix an exploding coffeepot, an overrunning toilet, and a washing machine that has a mind of its own. Bree doesn’t mind all the unexpected repair jobs, though, because the sexy renter is something to look at and dream about, despite being a little neurotic and whole lot of snarky.
Can Abra get her book done with all the distractions and craziness of her life, the biggest distraction being the flannelled hunk with the bedroom eyes and scowling yet oh-so-kissable mouth? Or will Dickens’ Mr FixIt have to step in and save the day and in so doing, fix Christmas for Abra forever?
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A Sneak Preview from Fixing Christmas
In the time it took her to decide he was the best kisser she’d ever, well…kissed, Bree nuzzled the space between her neck and collarbone, then gently sucked the skin he skimmed over.
When Abra gasped, he grinned against her skin.
“You taste good,” he said, then trailed his tongue back up her neck to nip her ear. “Like a vanilla milkshake.”
She let out a laugh. “Perfect description. My body soap is vanilla scented.”
Bree stilled, then pulled back and stared down at her, the heat in his eyes so smoldering she was amazed she wasn’t scalded when they lit on her.
“Body soap? You mean…you taste like that…all over?”
There was no missing the hope in his question, and her own expectation flowed like a raging river through her system.
Abra bit the corner of her mouth, zoomed in on his lips, then glanced back up again, while simultaneously clutching his knee between her thighs.
Bree hissed in a breath.
“I could tell you I do,” she said, tightening her grip around his shoulders as she ground against his leg, “but I think you’re the kind of man who likes to discover things on his own.”
His fingers flexed where they’d settled on her lower back. “I am.”
“And do you want to find out if I taste like a vanilla milkshake…everywhere?”
One corner of his mouth tipped up again. “I do.”
She placed a soft kiss to that corner. “What time do your kids get home from school?”
She glanced over his shoulder to the microwave. “It’s a little after one now.”
The other side of his mouth joined in. “Plenty of time.”
She arched an eyebrow. “I was thinking we needed to be fast.”
Bree laughed, bent, and hooking an arm under her knees, lifted her up. “I don’t do fast. In anything,” he told her.
Oh, good, God. She could come from that statement alone. “Wait. Where are we going?” she asked.
“To my bedroom.”
She looked over her shoulder back at the room they’d just occupied. “The kitchen table would be fine, you know. We don’t want to waste any time.”
Her statement had him tripping on the first riser. “Jesus,” he muttered.
Abra gripped him harder.
“I’m not nineteen anymore, Abra,” he said, with a chuckle as he recovered and began walking up the stairs. “Sex on the kitchen table, as hot as it sounds, wouldn’t agree with my back and I can’t imagine it would with yours, either. My bed is big and comfortable and we can spread out so I can take my time to find out if you really do taste like vanilla all over.”
The intent in his voice convinced her the bed was the better option, even though the table would have been, like he said, hot. And his back seemed strong enough to carry her, so....