Holiday Baking With Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen — With Recipes!

Today mystery author Joanne Fluke shares an RT-exclusive short story about her heroine Hannah Swensen's holiday celebration and three recipes for you to try at home!


The weather was perfect, crisp and cold with a light blanket of freshly fallen snow. The house smelled like chocolate from the Bourbon Brownies I'd made for the adults and the Double Chocolate Puff Cookies I'd baked for the kids. I'd been cooking since five in the morning and now I was sitting at my downstairs neighbor's kitchen table, having a cup of coffee while she basted the turkey. We were celebrating Thanksgiving together. The kids were at the skating rink with their grandparents, the husbands were watching football, and in a few hours, we would be feeding twenty-five guests.

A phalanx of slow cookers sat on the sideboard Sylvia's husband had made from bricks and boards he'd liberated from his construction site. The building materials and the ten slow cookers my husband had borrowed would be returned in the morning.

"What's next?" Sylvia asked.

"The Razzle Dazzle Baked Brie appetizer, but it's not time yet. We're through for now, but we'd better go check the crockpots to make sure they're all working."

Three hours later, overstuffed and content, Sylvia and I exchanged smiles. The meal had been delicious and there were no disasters unless we counted the card table that had collapsed, the serving of Jell-O that Aunt Dorothy had dropped on Sylvia's living room carpet, and the collision between Sylvia's youngest and mine as they careened around the tables shouting "gobble, gobble" in their best turkey voices. 

"Almost as good as Chuck's Smorgasbord," my husband said, referring to the all-you-can-eat place that everyone in the neighborhood called Up-Chuck's Smorgasbord. And then, when I gave him a look that could curdle the whipped cream on his pumpkin pie, he backtracked. "Just kidding. It was the best Thanksgiving ever. Let's invite even more people next year."


For the delicious seasonal recipes, you can click on the links below, check out yesterday's Peanut Dipping Sauce from debut author Amanda Usen and take a look at our "Home for the Holidays" cookbooks feature with Joanne Fluke and Debbie Macomber in the November issue of RT Book Reviews.

Razzle Dazzle Baked Brie Recipe >>

Bourbon Brownies Recipe >>

Double Chocolate Puff Cookies Recipe >>