Late-night baking & other adventures

Cooking, reading, character research. The usual. In detail.

I decided to bake things at 22:40 Wednesday. Why? Because it was the end of a long day with little word progress, I craved sweets, and the dessert cupboards were bare. Yes, my first and last instinct facing that crisis was to make something from scratch, not to hop in the car and drive 5 minutes to a store. Draw what conclusions you will.

Problem was, I had neither eggs nor butter in the house. Thanksgiving hibernation emptied the pantry, and I’ve been procrastinating the shopping hellsperience. So I nosed around the available ingredients and did some improvising.

Result:  night nibbles. That’s what I have dubbed them. I could call them fruit shortcakes or sweet drop biscuits or come up with some other fancy name, but whatever the label, they’re chewy-caky-sweet-tangy bursty deliciousness. And since they’re low on fat as-is, I can pair them with ice cream or butter or whipped cream if I’m feeling particularly decadent. And have butter. Or ice cream. (I did have whipping cream, oh, yes.)

Now the recipe, so I don’t forget it, because I am hella-sure I’ll be making these again since I’ve already made a second batch with frozen blueberries:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • Put parchment or baking mats on 2 cookie sheets
  • Sift together:
    • 2 1/2 c. flour
    • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt (or less)
    • 1/2 c. sugar
  • add 1 c.+ small fruit, dried or fresh.  I used dried cranberries, but dried cherries or apricots would do too (diced, in that case) or frozen blueberries, cherries, or raspberries…etc.  Note: when I was using wet fruit, I would add it after the cheese/yogurt.
  • Work in with fork or hands until completely mixed & crumbled with the flour:
    • 4 oz Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese (half a block)
    • 2 heaping spoonfuls plain Greek yogurt (about 1/3 c?)
  • add 3/4 c milk and stir until mixture forms a gooey dough

Scoop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets & bake 15-20 minutes/until tops brown & toothpick comes out clean. Ones made with wet fruit may require longer bake than dried ones.  Makes 12 big rounds or 24 nibble sized ones.

There. That was my big adventure.

In other Other Things:

Reading: I have embarked on a Elizabeth Boyle reading spree. Solid mystery-lite Regency fantasies with some tropes I don’t like (True Love excuses all bad acts, saving the damaged man, bad guys are wimps or cowards…) but also some I love, plus lots of snappy dialogue and humor. Non-fictionwise I’m reading dog training material because the protagonist in my new WIP has a dog. Because dog.

Viewing: Thor 3 was a hoot. Finally I got a movie with the Thor I met & fell in love with in the comics.  Also Valkyrie. Whee! Punisher was punishing but well-done. Stranger Things. I have complicated feels about Season 2. It was mega-problematic in ways ST1 was not. but hey, I  know how to be a fan of problematic things. I’m still loving Madame Secretary & Supernatural, much to my surprise. NCIS & Lucifer are on the chopping block.

And I finished writing Heartwood! (get used to me mentioning that every post for a month or three.) I discovered Word statistics and learned I wrote 60k words of it in the last 12 months. Since the whole year was a struggle to get back in creative shape after the Year-Plus Of Caregiving Focus, I’m declaring it a victory.  Some scenes/themes prolly need expanding and I might need to add an action first chapter to hook readers, but maybe not. That will wait until feedback.  Cleaning up the text for beta readers now.

And that is that for this installment of my life.



By K. M. Herkes

Author, gardener, and cat wrangler.