Amuse Bouche: Scared to Death

Our friends at Avon sometimes cook and bake, and here at Morrow Cookbooks we love to hear all about what they do best in the kitchen. here’s a guest post from romantic suspense writer Wendy Corsi Staub on the occasion of her newest novel.

My mom, like my grandma before her, was an incredible cook. My sister and I helped her in the kitchen from the time we could walk and talk, and I learned all her kitchen secrets. For instance, when it came to baking, you should only use real butter and always double the vanilla. Pie crust ingredients have to be chilled, and the dough to stay cold while mixing it, and never touch it with your hands. And whenever you’re making something with strudel or glaze topping, make at least an extra ½ recipe… that’s the best part!

My mom always made the most amazing rum cake for my father on his January birthday. It was moist and coated in caramelized nuts and a sugary glaze.  I got her recipe a few years ago, before she passed away, and began making the cake every December. Now I bake several at a time to send to my publishing colleagues and serve to guests throughout the holidays. It’s an unassuming little Bundt cake–it certainly doesn’t look particularly spectacular on a table filled with fancy desserts–but it’s always polished off promptly, with rave reviews!

This December, I’m not just celebrating the holidays—I have a new thriller, Scared to Death, hitting the shelves three days after Christmas (or rather, today). I’ll be making the bookstore rounds signing copies, so I baked a few extra rum cakes to express my gratitude to the booksellers. I wish I could send you all a slice, too—but sharing the recipe (get it here) is will have to do. Happy holidays!

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