Today we have a guest: Beth Cato of baking and steampunk fame. Learn about her new book, The Clockwork Crown, and a mouthwatering cookie recipe. Yum!
I’m the author of The Clockwork Dagger and the forthcoming The Clockwork Crown, due out on June 9th from Harper Voyager. The books are steampunk fantasy, set on an alternate world based on post-World War I Europe with some magical and technological twists.
Part of the fun of making my own world from scratch is that I get to create my own food culture. I do my own food blog every Wednesday, Bready or Not, so this is totally my element. I based the geography of my world on western Washington state where I used to live. Therefore, it was only right that my setting’s northern neighbor has a reputation for maple-baked goodies. I LOVE maple, which makes it all the more fun to write about in my books.
In keeping with steampunk sensibilities, I’m sharing a recipe for Maple and Brown Sugar Shortbread. This is the perfect cookie for breakfast, snack, or a proper British-style tea time, and like most shortbread, it keeps for over a week and ships very well in all temperatures. Perfect for those long airship journeys!
- 3 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- turbinado or decorating sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
- Mix the softened butter and sugars until just combined. Add vanilla and maple flavoring.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt, then add to butter mixture. Mix on low just until dough comes together; if dough doesn't come together, add tiny amounts of water until it does so. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least thirty minutes (or freeze for future use). [I have kept it in fridge for two days without any problems.]
- Roll dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch and cut into individual cookies. If you want, sprinkle the tops with some additional sugar.
- Bake for 12-16 minutes, until the edges just begin to turn golden. Remove from oven and cool before serving.
Shortbread keeps for a week or more in a sealed container, and also ships well.
OM NOM NOM!
To find out more about The Clockwork Dagger and The Clockwork Crown, please visit BethCato.com! You can read the first chapter of Dagger, follow links to order the books, AND get more recipes for delicious cookies.
Beth Cato is the author of THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER steampunk fantasy series from Harper Voyager. Her short fiction is in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Daily Science Fiction. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat.