I can't believe Thanksgiving is upon us! I don't know about you, but for me Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday baking season, starting with those classic pies. Here at the Hannah household we love to stick with tradition. Along with turkey, stuffing, and all the sides, my favorite part of the meal is, of course, dessert. It's not Thanksgiving without a couple of pumpkin pies and pecan pies. Sometimes we throw an apple pie into the mix, or a classic cherry pie, which is always a family favorite. This year, however, thanks to my neighbor, Erin, who's quite the baker, we've decided to add another festive dessert into the mix. Last year, when I noticed my dogs, Ripley and Finn, barking at something out the window, I looked out only to see Erin walking across the back lawn carrying a covered plate in her hands. Now, I should tell you that Erin is know to bring over delicious treats from time to time. Likewise, over the years I've brought Erin a fair amount of baked goods to sample, particularly when I'm working on new recipes for my Beacon Bakeshop Mystery Series. Erin's a good sport, and I know she'll always give me her honest opinion. Anyhow, back to that cold November day. Erin had made her favorite holiday treat, a cranberry cake, and was bringing some over for us to enjoy. I took one bite and begged her for the recipe.
I love cranberries, but I could kick myself for never thinking to put those beautiful, tart red berries into baked goods. I've only used fresh cranberries to make our traditional Thanksgiving cranberry sauce as well as a layered cranberry jello that my sons refuse to eat. This use of fresh cranberries, however, is genius! This easy-to-make cake batter is dense, flavorful, and not too sweet, which makes it the perfect setting for fresh cranberries. In fact, it's so good that with Erin's permission, I'm going to share it with you. If you have any cranberries left after Thanksgiving, or if you'd just like an easy cake to carry you into December, Erin and I have you covered.
Here's what you're going to need:
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
12 oz bag of cranberries
Beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes, until thick and light in color.
Add butter and vanilla extract and beat 2 more minutes.
Now add the flour and mix well.
The batter at this point is nice and thick. Time to stir in those beautiful cranberries!
Pour batter into a buttered 9 x 13 pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. It's that easy!
What a beautiful cake! To serve, just top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. I know that you're going to love this cake. My dirty little secret is that I have eaten this for breakfast too. It pairs well with a cup of black coffee! I hope you enjoy it!
For a printable copy of the recipe click HERE!
Events & Announcements
Even though I don't have a new book coming out until August, 2023, I do have some fun events coming up. After Thanksgiving, I'll be signing books at the wonderful 2 Dandelions Bookstore in downtown Brighton to help celebrate Small Business Saturday. I'll be at the store on Nov. 26 from 1:00-4:00 pm. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello! I be signing all three Beacon Bakeshop books, but we're highlighting my fun Christmas mystery, Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. Anyone who purchases a book gets a free gingerbread cookie ornament (while supplies last!). I love to support my local small businesses, and I'm so grateful 2 Dandelions Bookstore has asked me to participate. So, if you're looking for the perfect gift for that reader in your life, how about a signed copy of a Beacon Bakeshop mystery?
I have another fun announcement. Just in time to get into the Christmas Spirit, Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off will be a featured BookBub deal on November 28th. On that date the e-book version of the book will be available for $.99 wherever e-books are sold. So, if you haven't read this fun Christmas cookie mystery yet, now's the perfect time!
Is it too early to talk about Halloween?
You might have heard the news, but in case you haven't, the next novel in the Beacon Bakeshop Mystery Series, Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant, comes out in August of 2023, just in time for Halloween! It's a spooky fun mystery with plenty of delicious fall treats. Just so you don't miss this one, you can pre-order your copy HERE!
Here's a sneak peek at the cover. I'm utterly in love with it, and I hope you will be too. Here's a little description from my publisher, Kensington Books!
The latest installment in Darci Hannah’s delicious Beacon Bakeshop Mystery series set in small-town Beacon Harbor, Michigan, featuring a baker heroine who lives in the local lighthouse with her beloved Newfoundland dog, Wellington.
Lindsey prefers to keep her bakeshop’s Halloween decor light and autumnal, rather than gruesome and ghoulish. But everyone knows her lighthouse home is haunted. Some intrepid teens have even tried to break in to witness the resident ghost themselves. Dreading Halloween night, Lindsey reluctantly allows her influencer and podcaster best friend, Kennedy, to host a live ghost hunting investigation in the lighthouse, conducted by a professional team. Protective of her ghost, Lyndsey is understandably nervous about what they might uncover . . .
The segment is uneventful—until things take a terrifying turn. The team freaks out. As Kennedy joins the mad dash outside, she bumps into what looks like the prankster teens’ creepy clown costume hanging from a tree. But when Lindsey’s dog, Wellington, begins to whine, they make a grim discovery: the clown is no dummy. It’s a corpse.
Now Lindsey and company will need to keep their cool if they want a ghost of a chance to solve the murder—and see another Halloween . . .
Praise for Murder at the Blueberry Festival
“You’ll never see the end coming in this delightfully zany tale.”
One more fun announcement!
On Thursday, December 15th I've been asked to do a livestream Christmas cookie baking demo for Meet Up. I've never done a live baking demo before, and the thought kind of terrifies me. I'm a messy baker, and I have a tendency to sing while I'm working in the kitchen. However, how could I say no to an opportunity where I get to share my love for Christmas as well as some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes. The event will go live from 3-4 pm EST and I hope you'll join me. I don't have a link for the event yet, but I'll post it on my Facebook author page as soon as I get it. If you don't follow me yet on Facebook, click HERE!
Here's a description of the event from Meet Up.
'Tis the season to bake cookies! Looking for some scrumptious cookie ideas to add to your holiday baking list? Get into the holiday baking spirit by watching this Meetup Live recording for a holiday cookie demo with Darci Hannah, author of the Beacon Bakeshop Mystery series from Kensington Books. Darci will show you how to bake her favorite Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies, Lemon-Ginger Sandwich Cookies, and Almond Joy Cookie Bars that will have your holiday guests reaching for more—and stuffing some in their pockets to take home! She will also give some stress-free holiday baking tips, and talk about how she incorporates baking into her mystery novels.
It's shaping up to be a busy holiday season, but I'm going to enjoy this special day of feasting with my family and friends. Thanksgiving is the perfect day to reflect on all the blessings we've been given. Yes, it can get hectic, and yes, family can be stressful, but I'm grateful for all of that. Today I get to express my gratitude and thankfulness by preparing a special meal for those I love. I'm also especially thankful to have such wonderful, supportive readers and friends like you. Thank you!
Wishing you a Thanksgiving filled with delicious food and surrounded by the ones you love. Enjoy the day!