I love small family bakeries. There’s something about a business whose goal is to make something good to eat for you to take home that strikes me as pure and honest and down-home. Whenever I pass a bakery, I have to restrain myself from going in and buying everything in sight, not only because I know all those goodies are delicious, but also because those goodies are a labor of love, made by people who don’t make a lot of money and work long, grueling hours.
It’s one of the reasons why I set my latest book, A RECIPE FOR REUNION, in Georgette’s Bakery, a small-town roadside bakery. Georgette Caruthers started the business in Everville, New York, with her husband over fifty years ago. The little bakeshop outside of the main part of the community welcomes travelers and provides the townspeople with good food and friendship. But with her ailing health, Georgette needs help to keep her legacy running.
There’s only one woman she trusts with her recipes—Stephanie Stephens, a talented baker in her own right. Unfortunately for Steph, Georgette’s grandson Aaron has plans for his grandmother’s business, and she can’t count on him to make her a part of them. If Georgette’s is going to keep running, they’ll have to learn to work together.
Baked goods aren’t just yummy for your tummy—they can be nostalgic, healing, inspiring, therapeutic or even punishing, if you’re someone who eats as a form of self-destructive behavior. Something you won’t learn about in the book is that Georgette is extremely protective of her recipes because she considers them a form of power. She knows what every person in town likes, what they go for first when they’re feeling sad or happy or just plain hungry. The goodies people buy from her tell her a lot about what is going on in their lives and what kind of mood they’re in. And as Everville’s self-proclaimed grandmother, she feels it’s her duty to use this knowledge to help others.
In the spirit of helping and healing and bringing joy, she’s shared one of her most popular recipes with me. Included below is Stephanie’s own take on the recipe—the addition of ¼ cup of cocoa to turn the recipe into super-chocolatey chip cookies.
I hope you enjoy!
I’m giving away one signed copy of my March Harlequin Superromance, A RECIPE FOR REUNION. Just comment below for a chance to win! Giveaway ends Friday, March 27, 2015 11:59 p.m. EST. Residents of Canada and the US only.