Unrock Cakes and a Free Download

Posted by Barbara Monajem | 8:46 AM | 30 comments »

First things first: the winner, chosen from among those who comment on this blog, will get a free download of my short historical e-book from Harlequin, Notorious Eliza. I'm not saying how I'm going to pick the winner. It might be a random draw; on the other hand, it might not. The brilliance of your comment might be what sways me. Or not. Just saying.

Here's a short blurb:

Patrick needs a respectable new wife to be a mother for his daughter.
Notorious Eliza paints nudes to support her young son.
They should resist the attraction. (They don’t.)
They dare not fall in love. (They do.)
They must not marry… for one day Eliza’s most scandalous secret will surface and destroy them all.

Now to the recipe, which doesn't have a lot to do with the story. A few weeks ago, I blogged on the Harlequin Historical Facebook Page about plum cake, which does make a brief appearance in Notorious Eliza. In the comments, we got to discussing rock cakes, and I decided to try my British grandmother's recipe. I'd tried it before, and the cakes (cookies, in my vocab) really were like rocks (unlike Grannie's, which were always perfect). As usual with recipes, I couldn't resist mucking about and making changes, but in this case not many. I used whole wheat pastry flour and brown sugar and added other fruit options, but otherwise it's like hers. I still screwed up, though... sigh.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter (1/4 pound)
1 cup mixed fruit (currants, candied peel,
cherries, raisins, dried cranberries... whatever)
Grated rind and juice of one lemon
1 beaten egg

Mix the first five ingredients together, chopping in the butter. Add the mixed fruit, then the lemon juice and rind. Lastly add the egg and milk (together they should equal about a half cup of liquid, maybe more) to make a very stiff dough. Here's where I went wrong. I misread the recipe and added 1 egg (which happened to be a large egg) and a half cup of milk, and got quite a wet dough. Whoops. Anyway, put rounded tablespoonfuls of dough on an ungreased baking sheet, sprinkle with a little sugar (if you insist), and bake at 325 F for 15-20 minutes. The result was a lot like sugar cookies…and they tasted great.

Voila! Unrock Cakes. And here's Henry hoping for cookies or even just crumbs:


  1. Mary Marvella // February 4, 2010 at 9:15 AM  


    The recipe sounds good. As one who must change something about every recipe I try, I do understand undesired results happening. Can't wait to read about this woman who painted nudes.

  2. Mary Marvella // February 4, 2010 at 9:16 AM  

    Off to meet my critique group or I wouldn't be up now.

  3. Joanne // February 4, 2010 at 9:34 AM  

    Your description of your book makes it a must-read. I love your voice. As far as the recipe--looks good and quite different. It's quite a step up from the boring oatmeal cookies I baked this week.

  4. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 10:03 AM  

    Mary - Hug your critique group for me!

  5. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 10:05 AM  

    Joanne - Oatmeal cookies are NEVER boring. Is your recipe an old family one, or from a cookbook, or...?

  6. Beth Trissel // February 4, 2010 at 10:35 AM  

    wooooo hoooooo! I want the book and the cookies please.

  7. Beth Trissel // February 4, 2010 at 10:35 AM  

    Note the please. :)

  8. Mona Risk // February 4, 2010 at 10:48 AM  

    I want the book but keep the cookies. I will give you some of my delicious ones (that I buy for hubby anf grandkids) for a chance to download Notorious Eliza on my brand new Sony. I thought it was only a paperback book.

  9. Judy // February 4, 2010 at 11:40 AM  

    Thanks for the recipe, Barbara, and I LOVE the plot of your book. Very cute, very clever...Wishing you every success with it! So nice that you're doing so well. Congrats!

  10. Joelle // February 4, 2010 at 2:35 PM  

    I feel like I should tell a knock knock joke just in case it bumps up my prize-winning Karma. But I won't.

    The recipe sounds yummy. I'll have to try it when my oven gets fixed. Congrats on this book and for the ones soon to come!

  11. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 3:18 PM  

    Beth - The please is duly noted, LOL. I can see I will be in big trouble no matter who gets the download...

  12. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

    Mona - It's only out as an ebook -- the Undones are a line of short historical ebooks Harlequin began over a year ago. They are starting to put some of them out in anthologies, which is cool for people who prefer paper. No idea whether mine will ever be in an anthology, though...

  13. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 3:24 PM  

    Judy - Thank you! I'm glad the blurb works for you. I slaved over short blurbs for this story until I finally came up with that one.

  14. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 3:25 PM  

    Joelle - Jokes are always welcome, knock-knock or otherwise. :)

  15. Mary Ricksen // February 4, 2010 at 5:07 PM  

    Oh, yummy, the book too!!!!!
    Congratulations sweet Barbara, I'm thrilled for you!

  16. Scarlet Pumpernickel // February 4, 2010 at 7:03 PM  

    Since, we've been accused of partying too much and not working, I'll simply say congrats. Thanks for the recipe. I love to collect new recipes.

  17. Anonymous // February 4, 2010 at 9:02 PM  


    My mother-in-law passed down to me a recipe for Chocolate Chewies. Somehow I changed one detail in her recipe (I think it was the type of chocolate) and got a cookie with a whole different texture. My kids love it more than their grandmother's.

    I'll post it if anyone is interest.

    Connie Gillam

  18. Pamela Varnado // February 4, 2010 at 9:39 PM  

    Barbara, I know you're excited about your sales. You're on your way to becoming a NY Times bestseller. I'm not much of a baker, but my sister spends most of her Sundays baking, so I'm passing the receipe on to her. Either way, I'll get to taste your yummy treat.

  19. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

    Sweet Mary R - thank you for calling me sweet, or did you mean the cookies, LOL?

  20. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

    Scarlet - I didn't mean to dis the partying! Anyway, y'all seem to be able to work and party at the same time -- quite an accomplishment. :)

  21. The Mistress of the Dark // February 4, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

    The unrock cakes look scrummy! and the e-book looks delightful. Both would be perfect for enjoying when a foot of snow is getting ready to knock on your door.

  22. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 9:56 PM  

    Connie - I'd love to see your recipe. Too bad you can't just give us ready-made cookies over the Net... because I promise you when I make them they'll be different again.

  23. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

    Pam - I envy you a nearby sister (who bakes, too)! My sisters live far from me.

  24. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 10:19 PM  

    Dark's Mistress -- You have a mighty cool moniker there. Are you a vampire fan?

    The cookies might do, but my little e-book will only last through a couple of inches of snow.

  25. Mary Marvella // February 4, 2010 at 10:41 PM  

    Barbara, Pam has a live-in sister. And YES, Connie. Share, please.

  26. Terri // February 4, 2010 at 10:50 PM  

    Now I simply MUST find out if Notorious Eliza paints Patrick!

  27. Barbara Monajem // February 4, 2010 at 11:04 PM  

    Terri - LOL. You're not the only person who has mentioned that possibility.

  28. Kathy // February 4, 2010 at 11:46 PM  

    The finished product looked very yummy. I will have to see if I can do it. My cooking skills have been lax lately. I prefer to nuke it lol. I work 3 evenings and 2 overnights and just have gotten out of the cooking habit any more. Easier to send hubby to store or restaurant for soemthing this time of year. We do a lot of outside cooking in the summer this is Texas lol. We grill all summer long I think. I will send the receipe to my niece in Killeen to send to her husband and his guys in Iraq. Thanks hope to see how Eliza paint Patrick in the nude. Interesting story to tell their kids how they meet lol.

  29. Barbara Monajem // February 5, 2010 at 9:33 AM  

    LOL. I'm sure Patrick and Eliza's kids (when they get a little older) will find out at least something about how their parents met.

    I live in Georgia, and we do a lot of grilling in the summer, too.

  30. Dayana // February 6, 2010 at 9:32 PM  

    Congrats! Barbara:) Many sales to you!

    The cookies look yummy and I love the picture with the wishful furry child staring on, *grin* Adorable!