QTA Christmas Blog Hop!

If you’re looking for a snippet, I’m taking this weekend off.  The good news is you’re getting two excerpts for the price of 8 sentences!  Or something like that.

If you’re looking for my BTS Christmas Paws Blog Hop post, scroll down one or click here.

If you’re looking for my QTA Christmas Blog Hop post, you’re in the right place! This hop runs from Dec 8th through the 13th (EST), and the list of prizes is too large to mention!   At the end of my post is a question–follow the Rafflecopter link & you’ll find the place to enter your answer.  It’s a one-word answer, and should be an easy entry!

 The list of prizes on the QTA site is impressive, and I’m adding to it with a tiny leather saddlebag key chain for US entries (okay, the whole thing is 4″ x 2.5″) and a $5 Amazon GC for the INT crowd.

2013-12-08180328_zpsd6c2e66fHappy Holidays Hoppers!

Ian Bowen, the main character in my Dreamspinner Advent Calendar story “Toy Run” is a man of few words. So few it’s not easy to get to know the guy, so I’ve pushed him to center stage for this hop and he will share a holiday memory or the spotlight stays on. And quit that grumbling…


*sigh* Granddad wasn’t big on holidays, except Christmas. He and his buddies always collected toys to drop off at the firehouse or went on toy runs—they’d hit two or three in the state if everyone could get the time off work.

When I was a kid, he’d cook for days—cookies and cinnamon rolls and a huge breakfast that morning. He wouldn’t let me open one present until after I ate, either, the hardass.

My favorite Christmas cookie is still pfeffernüsse—dipped in chocolate or dusted with powdered sugar…not that Granddad approved of fancying them up. Before I learned how fast he’d cave and break out the chocolate I ate a shitload of those spicy Scrabble tiles plain.

Charley wants me to share the recipe, so here it is. This recipe makes about 120 little cookies. I’m not the cook Granddad was so I can’t guarantee your results. Just don’t skimp on the chocolate or powdered sugar. The kids will thank you.


2 eggs

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup candied ginger or candied fruit, finely chopped

1-1/2 tsp grated lemon rind

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 pinch ground cloves

1 pinch allspice

1 pinch salt

1/3 cup icing sugar


In large bowl, beat together eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until slightly thickened and light in color, about 6 minutes. Fold in candied ginger and lemon rind.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt ; stir into egg mixture with wooden spoon. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead until combined.

Divide into 12 portions. Roll each portion into 10-inch rope; cut into 1-inch pieces (be careful if you want them to stay round, but they taste just as good square). Place, 1/2 inch apart, on 2 parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets. Bake in center of 325°F oven for 15 minutes or until light brown. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes.

Into bowl, sift icing sugar. Roll cookies in sugar, a few at a time, to coat. Let cool on rack. (The recipe card says they’ll last for up to a month, but you’ll have to take their word on that.)

Thanks, Ian!  I know that wasn’t easy for you. 🙂

Here’s a little excerpt, and then I’ll share the links.

SUNSHINE STREAMED through the open curtains about five minutes later. At least that’s what it felt like. Ed was still dead to the world, so I helped myself to a shower and then prowled his refrigerator. That kitchen belonged to a man who was happy to stay on his property. Even with my relatively limited skills, I had a half-dozen choices of breakfast. He peeked in as I poured eggs into a skittering-hot frying pan.

He just looked at me for a long time, then walked behind me and sat in a kitchen chair. His appliances were all new, state-of-the-art, but his round oak table and the four chairs around it were as old as the house. Maybe older.

“Sleep okay?”

When he didn’t answer, I looked to make sure he wasn’t coming at me with a knife, and his face looked like Granddad’s after I fixed his bum leg for him. Only not like that at all.

Thanks for reading!

To enter the grand prize giveaway, take the answer to this question and enter it in the Rafflecopter:

Who baked Christmas cookies for Ian when he was a kid?

Don’t forget to click back to QTA and keep hopping! Each blog has a question for the Rafflecopter and a recipe to share!


14 thoughts on “QTA Christmas Blog Hop!

  1. Slightly different from my recipe but I love those spicy little hockey pucks. Made some last week and hid them from the grandkids so they can mellow a bit.

  2. Pingback: BTS Christmas Paws Winners! | Charley Descoteaux

  3. Pingback: Happy Friday the 13th! | Charley Descoteaux

  4. The Granddad sounds like quite the man! 🙂 What amazing memories your character has!! Those cookies look and sound so yummy! Thank you so sharing! Happy Holidays!

  5. Hi Charley,

    I want to send a personal thank you for your participation in the xmas blog hop 2013. Thanks to you the Christmas Blog Hop was a great success.

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and friends a very happy holiday and joyful New Year 2014

    All the best,

    Founder/Administrations Manager
    Queer Town Abbey

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