Tugger Cookies Are A Winner In The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries


I am in the cookie business. It just goes to show you. When you become an author, you become the chief, cook and bottle-washer of your literary career. I should have known ‘baker’ was right around the corner.
I stole this idea from another mystery writer and cyber buddy, Cindy Sample, author of Dying For a Date. Cindy makes cookies to be given out to anyone who purchases her book at events. In fact, it got so popular, she started selling the cookies and giving away the book with each purchase. Now that’s enterprising! Cindy’s cookies are in the outline of a dead body, sort of an offed gingerbread man, and they are very cute. See below and to the right.
If imitation is the sincerely form of flattery then consider yourself flattered, Cindy!
Back to me. I haven’t baked anything in decades, so I prevailed upon my friends to reacquaint me with the process. First, having decided I wanted to have the cookies in the form of one of my on-going characters, Tugger, the cat, I sent away for some cat shaped cookie cutters. They took 3-weeks to arrive. Meanwhile, I started planning. Good friend, fellow writer, and cracker-jack pastry chef, Baird Nuckolls, gave me some cookie dough she had in her freezer. I knew it would be yummy, her being a pastry chef and all. I rolled it out, cut it into little cat shapes and baked them. I was a nervous wreck. I haven’t baked since the Magna Carta was signed. I was there, you know. Third rock from the King.
But I digress. After the cookies cooled I tried to frost one of them. ‘Tried’ is the operative word. It took me over one hour to decorate one cookie. You can see the results in the pics. It was a lot of trial and error and I took a lot of poetic license from the image of the real Tugger. All in all, it took me six hours of standing on my feet to bake and decorate eight cookies. This wasn’t looking good.
My back was killing me. My kitchen looked like it had been in a food fight. I, personally, was completely covered in Royal frosting, but, by gawd, I had a cookie. Then I discovered the little darlings are an endangered species. The cookies went almost immediately especially as there weren’t that many of them to begin with. So much for what I had to show for my work.
Enter another pal and amateur baker, Kathleen Drotar. She invited me over to her homey kitchen where I made, under her supervision, two and half dozen sugar cookies. I’m getting better! I was still covered in cookie dough and her kitchen was a mess, but I had thirty cookies to show for a morning’s work!
I’ve learned it’s best to do cookies in stages. After baking them at Kathleen’s, I put the little cat beauties in my freezer, and they are awaiting an event to be frosted. I understand cookies can stay frozen for months. Yippee!! There are a couple of events coming up, and I’m looking forward to handing out these tasty little morsels to anyone who buys my book.
Everyone seems to love cookies. Lord knows, I can’t keep them in my house unless they’re under house arrest. My husband has promised me faithfully he will not go into the box containing the unfrosted cookies no matter what. Our marriage depends on this promise. He knows it; I know it; the cookies know it.

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Cindy Sample’s website can be found at: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dyingforadate-471551-152.html. Drop by and visit her!

20 Comments:

  1. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH MMMMMMMMMM THE COOKIES LOOK GOOD!

    LINDA B

  2. Hi Heather. I love this blog and I can see that I'm going to have to up my game with my dead body cookies. Those Tugger cookies are delightful and they look delicious. I'm just glad my next title involves daiquiris. So much easier to hang out with my blender than my cookie cutters.

  3. Let's just consider it red frosting on a cookie, and not blood. Sort of like what you do for Valentine's Day!

  4. Pretend blood on cookies? I am learning so much more about Heather and the commenters!!!!

  5. Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions! I think putting red frosting as blood is wonderfully gruesome! I'm with Karen on this! We could do an outline of a knife on the 'dead' body…er…ah…cookie and then splatters of blood. I mean, too wonderful! Wait a minute, does that sound as blood-thirsty as I think? Naaaaaaah.

  6. I love cookies and yours are adorable.

  7. Oh Heather what a hoot! Actually your kitty cookies look pretty good. I've never been good at sugar cookie dough, but maybe if I got a good recipe…hint hint. What a great idea though, thank you for sharing. And a dead body outlined cookie-brilliant!

    Hugs, Sara

  8. Ging…hehehe and don't think I won't use blood-red icing. Of course if I wanted to authenticate the image, I could place yellow icing and chocolate chips strategically to emphasize the release of those bodily fluids. Of course, I'd need a base. Maybe atop a large solid piece of whit chocolate to show off the colors….

  9. Thanks, Janet. This is really a fab idea and I'm delighted to steal it from a fellow author. I think we're all doing variations on the theme, tho, and that's good. Why not give out brownies? You could frost something on the top, like the two heros' initials inside a heart, or something like that. This is really a very clever promotional idea! And imagine, people started buying the cookies and Cindy gave them a free book! What an idea!!

  10. OH…nothing sounds quite as appealing a cookie shaped like a dead body. *lol*

  11. Oh if only we could shape brownies into a character in a book. I really love this idea. And selling the cookie and giving away the book? Priceless! Enjoyed this post so much, I'm sending the link out to my crit group!!

  12. Awww Heather…hats off to you my dear friend. LOVED your cookies and you already know this is what I'm planning as I already told you I was stealing the idea. I can do a sheriff's badge or a car or a dead body. Dead body silhouette sounds so much easier and can be made from chocolate-chip cookie dough or anything I want. Love this. Did I mention how cute and funny you are? Love you!

  13. Leave it to our Ginger to come up with such a nefarious plot as poisoning readers with Tugger cookies! Hmmmm. It DOES sound like a good plot for a book, tho!

  14. I applaud your bravery. As someone who doesn't even own an oven mitt, I prefer to buy cookies someone else baked. Perhaps I can become one of your clients. 🙂 Of course, buying or handing out cookies at signings… you're going to have those people who are as fearful of the treats given out at Halloween. Did that crazy writer lady put something deadly in her dough to bake up a new writing idea? Hey…sounds like a plot for a new story to me. *lol*

  15. Arrgh! You know the way to a man's heart, by golly. One thing you could do, teach the big guy to do the baking while you decorate. He can eat all the rejects he wants. That should keep him satisfied and you with enough left over to tempt your book buyers.
    Great idea, theme cookies. I may have to steal this one myself. He He
    PD

  16. This idea is so brilliant! And your cookies are absolutely adorable! I'll definitely have to try this sometime! Yumm….

  17. Gail, you are so funny! He swore to me several times he would be good. I have it sealed, too. We'll see!

  18. Dang, I hope Norman has enough self-control to stay out of that box!

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