Events for BY THE BOOK! Another book this year?!? And cookies!
Long time no see, I know! Did you miss my many exclamation points?
Hello, newsletter friends! I’m so sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve written to you, but you see, there’s been this pandemic that has been overwhelming at times, and I have written three books and numerous other things on a only sort of functioning computer (and sometimes, with an only sort of functioning brain), and this newsletter fell by the wayside. But now I have a new computer (this is the very first thing I’m typing on it!) (well, other than signing into all of the accounts you have to sign into when getting a new computer, but you know what I mean) and I can write to you again! I have so much news to share! I have two books coming out this year! And a book tour coming very soon!
First, By The Book comes out in a week and a half! It is a contemporary reimagining of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, with pep talks, writing advice, Beauty and the Beast Easter eggs, and lots and lots of snacks, and I hope you all love it! You can preorder it many places, and it’s currently 25% off if you preorder from Barnes and Noble with the code PREORDER25. And if you preorder from my local bookstore, East Bay Booksellers, I’ll sign (and personalize, if you want!) your book! If you want it release week, make sure to preorder asap, so I can sign your book before I leave for book tour. And speaking of book tour — I will be doing an in person book tour again for the first time since 2019 and I am SO excited! This weekend, I’ll be at the LA Times Festival of Books on both Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24 — on Saturday, I’ll be signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth (#368, teal zone) from 12-12:30 pm, and then at The Ripped Bodice booth (#907, black zone) from 2-3 pm. And on Sunday, I’ll be on the All Hail Contemporary Romance panel with the fabulous Christina Lauren — it’s at 1:30 pm at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, with a signing to follow. And then, for any of you who are Texas librarians, next week I’ll be at the Texas Library Association annual conference, so please come say hi!
I will be home with just enough time to unpack and repack, and then I start another week of book travel, and I hope hope I get to see lots of you! April 30th: Oakland; May 2, New York; May 4, Miami; May 5, North Carolina; May 6, Houston; May 8, Berkeley, and a virtual event tucked in there on May 3rd! And then later on: June 2, DC; June 6, Boston; and June 8, Connecticut! Many of these events are ticketed because of pandemic space restrictions, so please click the links to see if you need to plan in advance! Here’s a handy graphic for you all:
If where you live is missing, I wish I could go to all of the places, believe me, but let’s keep our fingers crossed I get to go there in the fall with my second book of the year.
That’s right, if you missed it, I have another book coming out this year! Drunk On Love, coming September 20th! And look at this incredible cover!
I love it so much! Synopsis and preorder info all here! And you can also preorder Drunk On Love for 25% off during the Barnes and Noble sale! Or preorder from your local independent bookstore (which often makes it more likely I’ll get to visit it someday).
Okay, I have to finish packing, but I promised you all cookies, and so cookies I will deliver (well, a recipe for cookies, anyway). Chocolate chip cookies play a role in By The Book (along with many other baked goods), so I’m excited to share a great recipe for them! I have many chocolate chip cookie recipes that I love (I am still very into these pan banging cookies, fyi), but I’m always happy to try out a new recipe, and I recently tried this recipe for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, and they were so good. The first time I made the recipe I cut it in half, because I thought “oh, I don’t need that many cookies” and then two days later I made the full recipe, so I have to share it with you. FYI, these cookies freeze very well; just scoop into balls and put on parchment in the freezer until they’re frozen solid, and then pop them in a freezer bag. In the directions for the recipe, it says to defrost them all the way before you bake them, but I just put them in the oven frozen, and add 2ish minutes onto the baking time. I did tinker with the chocolate amounts in the cookies — the recipe calls for both regular semisweet chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate wafers, and one time when I made them I used semisweet chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate wafters, and another time I just used the bittersweet wafers, and both were good (I used a touch less than the recipe does, though). I say use what you have on hand; the great thing about chocolate chip cookies is that most of the ingredients are regular pantry ingredients, and so you can bake them whenever you feel like it. Also, in this recipe it says that these cookies are far better if you let the dough rest in the fridge for at least twenty four hours; that may be true, and I did that for some of the dough, but some of it I baked right away, and they were pretty delicious when baked immediately, so if you cannot wait, I am with you and support you.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all purpose flour
1 cup (127 grams) bread flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups (225 grams) semisweet chocolate chips (see note above)
1 cup (140 grams) semisweet chocolate wafers (see note above)
For browning the butter: In a small or medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter; when it’s melted, keep cooking it, swirling around the pan occasionally. It’ll get foamy and start popping — step back and don’t get hit by bits of melted butter, it hurts (ask me how I know). Browning butter always takes longer than I think it will, so be patient, and don’t leave the kitchen — once it’s ready, you have to take it off the heat quickly. It’s ready when it’s gotten a little darker in color and there are brown bits at the bottom of the pan — remove it from the heat right away and pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add in both sugars, stir, and then set it aside to cool completely.
For the cookies: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flours, the baking soda and powder, and the salt. To the browned butter mixture, add the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla, and stir. Then stir in the flour mixture until combined, and then the chocolate chips and/or wafers.
If you want the dough to rest in the fridge, wrap it well here and put it in the fridge for at least twenty four hours.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven at 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, and scoop the dough with a 3 tablespoon sized ice cream or cookie scoop (or just make 3 tablespoon-is sized balls of dough), and drop the dough onto the cookie sheets. (If you’re going to freeze some, form them into the balls and transfer into the freezer now). These are big cookies, so I put only six cookies on each cookie sheet.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown. I like to sprinkle some flaky sea salt onto the cookies too, because I love that salty/brown butter/sweet combo especially. Let cool just enough so they don’t burn your tongue, and enjoy!
Have a great weekend, and I hope I get to see some of you very soon!