Underdead is a finalist in the mystery category. For those of you who might have missed it, here's the back cover blurb of Underdead:

Science teacher Jo Gartner thinks teaching geology to hormonal pre-teens is deadly... until she is bitten by an inept vampire and becomes UNDERDEAD--all the problems of being a vampire, none of the perks.

When she finds a body on her classroom floor with teeth marks in his neck, she must figure out "whodunnit" before her Underdead secret gets out. But she's running out of time. The detective in charge of the case is dogging her every move, her vampire traits are evolving in new and embarrassing ways, and someone wants Jo dead...the traditional way!

Since ebooks are instant gratification (so quick to get a hold of!), here's a reasonably easy and very versitale cookie recipe:

Any Way You Want Them Shortbread Squares
Preheat oven to 375 (F)
Grease a jelly roll pan (or a cookie sheet about 9x15. If you don't have either, see below)

1/2 lb butter
1c sugar
1 egg, separated
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
2c flour

and at least one of the following toppings: 1 c. pecans, a couple crunced up toffee candy bars, candy canes, chocoate covered nuts, fruit jam...whatever you want. It's all good.

Here's what you do:
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and pinch of salt. Mix in flour.

Pat into pan. That sounds easy but what you really do is smear it over the cookie sheet in a thin layer. Last time I made it, my hands were cold and it stuck to them. I resolved this by putting clean plastic bags (I was out of disposable plastic gloves) over my hands and smearing that way. Worked wonderfully and I will do it next time. You can certainly smear it in whatever size pan you want.

Beat the egg white slightly and brush a litte over the dough. I actually smear it on with my plastic covered fingers. You won't use more than a little of it. All you need is a thin layer. It helps make it shiny and brown and probably helps the nuts stick if you use them.

Now, here's the fun part.
1. If you're using raw nuts, stick them on before baking. Bake 16-18 min, until lightly browned.
2. If you're using another topping, bake until the dough is lightly browned, 14-16 min, pull out, spread the crushed candy bars, candy canes, jam (my mother loves this with blueberry jam--it's like a thumbprint cookie only waaay better and easier) or whatever you want to put on it and put back into the oven for a little longer until the dough is light brown and the topping has melted onto the dough.

Cool in pan, cut into squares and place on pretty plate--or break off chunks and eat them off a paper towel.

Whatever you do, enjoy them with a good book. Now that's a holiday tradition I can get into.




  1. Mary Marvella // December 24, 2007 at 12:12 AM  

    Hmmm, I feel a cookie attack coming on.