Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 27: It’s All About The Cookie, Not the Legs

pinupwitchweenI feel as if I need to apologise for yesterday’s Cat Poo Cookie post.

Okay, not really.

I merely want cookies I can share and know people will eat. Plus, these cookies are a cookie that Australians seem more willing to eat than Halloween pumpkin cookies.

AlsoSandrabooks, Peanut butter. Yes, you know, peanut butter makes an appearance in all my books, which, by the way you can check out here and buy.

Peanut Butter Cookies

½ cup butter, softened         ½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup sugar                         ½ cup packed brown sugar

½ tsp baking soda                   ½ tsp baking powder

1 egg                                        ½ tsp vanilla

1 ¼ cups flour                         ½ cup sugar for rolling

A fork for flattening

Preheat oven to 375F/190C

With an electric mixer on medium to high, beat butter and peanut butter speed for 30 seconds.

Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl.

Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.

Stir in any remaining flour. Chill dough 1 hour.

Shape dough into 1” balls. Roll balls in additional granulated sugar to coat. Place balls apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Using the tines of a fork to flatten balls, making crisscross marks on top.

Bake for 7 – 9 minutes or until bottoms are light brown.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool.spidercookie

IF you wannna make these and add a Halloween spin, Add 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. When you remove cookies from the oven, use a toothpick to make ‘spider legs’ from a melted chocolate chip. SCARE ALL YOUR FRIENDS!


Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 26: I Dare You To Eat This

SandrabooksCookies and peanut butter. They are my downfall. I love them. I put them in A Basic Renovation, For Your Eyes Only, and Driving in Neutral.  I am always on the lookout for new cookies, especially when it comes to holidays. In my great search for the ultimate cookie1Pumpkin-free Halloween cookie I could share with my Australian friends and family—because, if you don’t recall, Aussies aren’t much for sweet spiced pumpkin, and prefer it roasted with onions, garlic and potatoes—I came across a recipe for… Halloween Cat Poop Cookies.

Yes, You read that correctly.

I also came across Halloween Cat Poop Cookies II. And Cat Poop Cookies III.

Note the artfully placed scoop

Note the artfully placed scoop

Honest. You can find the recipes from All Recipes here.

Now, before your stomach turds—TURNS, I mean turns, the bar-cookie, or slice as we’d call it in Oz, does not actually contain feline doo-doo. Number one is a mix of honey, butter, unsweetened cocoa powder and a wheat bran cereal.

catpoo2Number two (tee hee hee) has honey, molasses, a mix of spices and the addition of Ramen noodles, for uh, added bulk I guess.

Cat poop cookie number 3 skips the molasses, includes the wholewheat flour, and adds in a wheat and barley ‘nugget-type’ cereal, for, let’s say ‘regularity.’

Holy smokes, kids, I know the photos sure ain’t appealing, but as a catpoo3Halloween cookie they sure are terrifying. And perfect.

The terror, that’s what the point of a haunted house is, right? Kids love the BOO! Kids Love to scream. Kids are ready to have the living culinary crap scared out of them. There’s the Halloween Bowl of Bloody worms (spaghetti with tomato sauce), the Bowl of Pirate Eyeballs (red or black grapes) and Freaky Fingers (Hot dogs wrapped in pasty), so TRY THE CAT POOP COOKIE!

If you dare…

I’m sure you’ve figure out by now that Halloween and Cat Poop Cookies IV, my own addition to the CP Cookie hall of fame, are in a Next to You, the book I’m currently editing. I’ve skipped the molasses and added in peanut butter, but not the crunchy kind.


Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 7: Rhyll Scares, Talks Stealing Candy

SandrabooksI was made for writing books featuring coffee, peanut butter, and cookies, Kiss Was Made For Lovin’ You, while author Rhyll Biest was made for Halloween. Naughty , bare-chested Halloween.

Holly Unthanks, heroine of my November release with Escape Unrestrained, has a fairly unique outlook on life. Here’s her thoughts on Halloween:

  1. I’m not afraid of Halloween, but Halloween is afraid of me.
  2. Witches are not scary. And who else are you going to swap recipes for placenta cookies and bone marrow bread with?
  3. Ghosts are not scary. In fact, when I see the ghosts of boyfriends I’ve done in, I get the warm fuzzies.halloween pumpkin witch dog
  4. Vampires are not scary. They were, before Twilight took the horror value of vampires around the back of a shed and shot it in the head, but not anymore.
  5. Zombies are not scary. They shuffle. Even my thoroughly unaerobicised ass can outrun them.
  6. Werewolves are not scary. Toss a Shmacko in the opposite direction, bolt, and you’re good.
  7. Trick or treating and children ARE scary. I vote myself the person most likely to steal candy from children. Thankfully, the quarantine tape across my front door deters visitors.

unrestrained smallMade for Halloween, Rhyll Biest was born a curmudgeon and now writes romance for curmudgeons (who love to see hero and heroine SUFFER before they find happiness). Her life ambition is a guest spot on Grumpy Old Women. She tried smiling and being nice—once—and decided it wasn’t for her. Instead she now focuses on writing and doesn’t worry about anything else. Find out more about Rhyll at

Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 4: Georgina’s Arabian Halloween

SandrabooksWhile the inspiration for my writing seems to be rooted in food, what with all the cookie, peanut butter and coffee references, as well as all the bits where character seem to be eating, my Guest today, author Georgina Penney found her muse in an exotic location and tells a Halloween tale of Arabian Nights.

Georgina Penneysml

Georgian Penney

Halloween used to be just a scary movie or something that I’d see featured in American sitcoms as a kid. In fact, other than a couple of really memorable Simpsons episodes, it never flew across my radar until seven years ago when I moved to Saudi Arabia.

The compound we moved to was pretty much a simulacrum of 1950s American suburbia right Ras Tanura Beachdown to the bake sales and coffee mornings. There were churches on camp, a golf course and, because the compound was built on the Arabian Gulf, some fantastic snorkeling and diving to be had… all right next to the world’s biggest oil refinery. (“Just don’t breathe the air and everything’s perfect honey!”)

The first inkling I got that Halloween was something that I would be experiencing for the first time was the decorations on my American and Canadian neighbors’ homes. In fact, even my Saudi neighbors got into the swing of things. There were suddenly scary ghosts hanging from palm trees and plastic spiders stuck to the golf carts we women drove around camp. People started talking about how the weather always shifted from scorchingly hot (50 plus degrees SaudiCelsius) to winter after Halloween and all of a sudden I started to have something to really look forward to.

Then I started to get women asking me if I could co-taxi with them into the nearest city, Khobar to get sweets and costumes for their kids. (If you’re smart, you never take a taxi on your own as a woman in Saudi.) Before I knew it, the sun was going down one weekend and my house was besieged by munchkins and their parents in costumes. It wasn’t just the American kids but the English, Lebanese, Australian, Saudi and everyone in between and I had a hoot of a time. (Thank God I’d stocked up on sweets on one of those trips into town!)

The surrealness of that evening, the sheer inclusiveness and the fun the kids and their parents were having really drew me in and became the inspiration for my first attempt at a novel. I haven’t stopped writing since and nowadays when Halloween comes around, I always make sure I’m well stocked up on sugary treats just in case there’s a ring on the doorbell.


Georgina Penney first discovered romance novels when she was eleven and has been a fan of the genre ever since. It took her another eighteen years to finally sit in front of a keyboard and get something down on the page but that’s alright, she was busy doing other things until then. You can find Georgina’s latest, Irrepressible You here.

The Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 3: Count Daniel de Lorne Beckons You With Butterfly Wings

Screen Shot 2012-10-25 at 1.01.01 PM

this post contains no cookies

While I love writing about fear and adore my coffee and cookies, author Daniel de Lorne loves fake blood and fangs, which means he isn’t someone who thinks Halloween sucks (pun so totally intended), and he’s not scared of or romance either.

Welcome to the Fun-House, Daniel!

Who wants to see a photo of me dressed as a vampire when I was a kid? Everybody, that’s who. Well, you’re in luck. As my special contribution to Sandra’s 31 Days of Halloween, I’m dipping into the archives and Dan2pulling out a couple of embarrassing family photos from Halloween.

In Australia, Halloween isn’t a big deal. It’s nothing like the grand scale production in the USA and Canada. As a kid, it’s a bit disappointing when you see (American) movies and tv shows with their Halloween themes. I wanted to dress up too, goddammit.

I should say though that I was (and still am) a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to things that go bump in the night. As a five-year-old, Ghostbusters, Gremlins and the House franchise Daniel-de-Lorne3terrified me (yet I continued to watch them with my cousin). I’d keep my poor parents up at night as I screamed because there was something hiding behind the curtains.

Yet despite my fears – or maybe because of them – I was fascinated with the gothic and the macabre. And so, when my sister and I convinced our parents to let us dress up and go out trick-or-treating, I chose to go as a vampire.

I’m sure my choice really had more to do with Count Duckula than Count Dracula, but Dan1nevertheless I donned a cape, some fake fangs and fake blood, and headed out into the night…with my butterfly sister beside me.

We did this at least twice over the years, the effort required sometimes not worth the payout (because, let’s be honest, the whole reason behind doing this is for lollies – or candy as the Americans would say). We came away with some sweet stuff but not the horde you’d expect to collect in North America.

Now that I’m living in Canada, I’m too old (and too worried about my weight) to enjoy the candy side of things, however, that doesn’t mean I can’t dress up. In fact, it’s great to head into the city on Halloween and see plenty of adults dressed in their ghoulish finery. And some of the costumes we saw GrimReaperlast year were chilling (such as the Grim Reaper in the photo).

This year Halloween happens just two days after I get married, which is a whole other bucket of fear right there. It’s still touch and go whether I’ll don a costume to mark this dark holiday, but if I do, I’ll post a photo on my Facebook page ( so be sure to check it out.

In the meantime, if you want to enjoy a dark tale of obsession, lust and good old fashioned blood and guts, check out my gay vampire romance Beckoning Blood Cover 1000novel, Beckoning Blood, available for download from Kindle or your favourite ebook supplier.

Daniel de Lorne writes about the loves and tribulations of hot and sexy paranormal men (and creatures). You can find out more about Daniel on his website (, Facebook ( and Twitter (

You can buy Daniel’s books here: Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, Nook

Thirty-One Days of Halloweenie Day 2: Om Nom nom


I’m an author who loves Halloween, peanut butter, coffee, cookies, and writing about fear because one of the scariest things on earth is falling in love. I write about that fear in my novels, A Basic SandrabooksRenovation, For Your Eyes Only, and Driving in Neutral, all of which feature one or more of those delicious things. For instance, there’s a peanut butter in A Basic Renovation

a-basic-renovation_finalLesley reached back into the car. Plastic crinkled in her hand. ‘Can I have one?’
‘Can you have one what?’
‘One of the Fifth Avenue candy bars you’ve hidden under the socks and condoms on the bottom.’
‘Never you mind what’s in there. Just take it inside.’
Those clunking cowboy boots of hers stopped clunking just a few feet from the front door. Martino looked over his shoulder to see Lesley smirking. ‘I think I need something to guarantee my silence,’ she said.
‘Extortion is a crime, just ask Eilish’s nephew.’
‘I will. I’m going out with him tonight.’
‘Well, I’m not giving you any of my rubbers.’
‘I want chocolate and peanut butter, not sex and condoms.’
‘Ha! You want both, but you’re not getting any.’
‘You really think you will?’
He narrowed his eyes. ‘One. You can have one, merdinucchia.’

Numerous coffee and peanut butter scenes appear in For Your Eyes Only0913-eyes-only_final1

Her stomach growled on cue.
Peanut butter. It’s what’s for dinner.
She unscrewed the top from a jar of Jif. The instant she smeared a slice of whole-wheat bread with creamy, peanutty goodness, the phone rang again and the doorbell chimed a backwards, off-key dong-ding. Ignoring Isabel’s persistence, licking her fingers, she went to unlock the deadbolt, peanut butter-coated knife still in hand. She sneezed as she opened the door.
One more sneeze and Willa found herself gazing at a pizza box and John’s lopsided smirk. His nose was red from the cold.
“Hi,” he said, his eyes traveling from bare feet to peanut butter-covered knife. “I’m here about the shirt and the note you left at my door. Thank you. You know, you didn’t need to replace anything. It’s sweet, but I told you, clothes can be washed and…” his eyebrows rose, “…should I cue the Psycho music?”

driving smallDriving in Neutral is all about fear, yet the story contains coffee and peanut butter on Ritz crackers.

It took Emerson a second before he grasped what she meant. He hadn’t intended the baseball game comment to be a come-on, but subconsciously, in that very Freud kind of way, maybe it was. He was turning into a sleaze who winked and soon he’d be into wearing gold chains and exposing his chest hair like Barry Gibb on the album cover of Saturday Night Fever. Would he be able to stuff himself into a pair of Bee Gees-tight pants?
Quickly, before he imagined how his genitals would look forming a moose knuckle in white satin pants, he changed the subject. “Are you enjoying the work here?”
“It’s interesting.” She took a small plastic bag from the fridge.
“Is that a euphemism for it sucks?”
“No. If that were the case I would have said, it’s different. Want one?” She held out the bag.
“What is it?”
“Peanut butter and jelly on Ritz crackers.”
“Peanut butter and jelly? Peanut butter’s for kids. I’m an adult. I eat adult snacks.”
“So that box of Coco Puffs over there with your name and DO NOT EAT all over it in purple marker isn’t yours?”

Oh, all right. I often write about peanut butter. Does that scare you? Yesterday, I was given a scarily large jar of homemade peanut butter cookies. That scares me because I know I WILL EAT THEM ALL!

The scariest thing about today’s post is that it is about really about cookies — Halloween cookies and by Halloween cookies you know I mean PUMPKIN cookies.

Preheat oven to 350F/180C

1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar    1/2 cup butter softened

2 eggs                                              1/2 cup mashed pumpkin

2 ¾ cups flour                                   1/2 tsp saltpumpkincookie

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp  cinnamon                       1/4 tsp  ginger

1/4 tsp  nutmeg                       1/8 tsp  allspice

1/8 tsp ground cloves


In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, eggs, pumpkin with electric mixer on medium speed.

Stir in flour, salt, baking powder and spices. Drop dough by tablespoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Cool on racks, about 30 minutes. EAT.

BEWARE! The Thirty-One Days of Halloweenie is COMING!



Remember how last month and the month before I was all in your face with phobias and other irrational fears?

I play with fear a lot in Driving In Neutral and For Your Eyes Only. October continues with that theme of terror because, you know, it ends with Halloween and it’s only 31 days long, and has Reese’s Peanut Butter items and candy corn involved.


How creepy is this kid?

You may recall that I like to write about fear, especially when it comes to falling in love, but perhaps you’ll also recall how the previous 75 Days of Phobias series theme’ highlighted that the two things that freak y’all out the most are spiders and CLOWNS! Starting This Wednesday, it’s gonna be a (mostly) Clown-free Freaky Festival o’ Facts, Fun, Frankenstein, FrankenBud, Frankenbrides (like Ella in Driving in Neutral) and Fear, finishing on Friday 31 October.

Join me for a little friggin’ fun. There will be coffee, cookies, giveaways, treats, and maybe even a couple of tricks. Oh, YEAH MAMA!


A Day in the Writing Life of Sandra Antonelli– That’s Me

I bet you’re ALL so desperate to know about a day in my writing life. Hands up. Who thinks cookies and coffee play a part? Hop on over to the RWAus blog and see more and find out if you’re right.

Let’s give a good coffee fuelled morning to Sandra Antonelli, whose book Driving in Neutral is out now!

Antonelli pink sweaterIn one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.
I write contemporary, smart-assed romantic comedy for grown ups who aren’t really very grown up at all, which is due to my smartassed nature. Although, I do have a dark side…

Romance Writers of Australia

Let’s give a good coffee fuelled morning to Sandra Antonelli, whose book Driving in Neutral is out now!

Antonelli pink sweaterIn one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.
I write contemporary, smart-assed romantic comedy for grown ups who aren’t really very grown up at all, which is due to my smartassed nature. Although, I do have a dark side…

What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?
I get most of my writing done from 8am to 1 pm, at the office I manage. I got in this habit when I was working on my PhD in romance fiction. Basically, I have three jobs, I manage the psychology practice we own, I write romance fiction, and make my husband lunch. I have a lovely view of swaying palms…

View original post 501 more words

Cookies + Coffee = 44 Days of Holiday Cookies Day 43: It’s Not Too Late To Bake Allspice Cookies!

surfsantaThe downside of living Down Under is that this time of year tends to be rather, you know, on the warm-ish side. While you elves up in the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing ice storms, massive snowfalls and weather that looks a lot like Christmas, down here it’s been in the low 80s (mid 20’s C) to the high 90’s (about 40 C). Turning on the oven to bake cookies let alone a six course turkey dinner seems utterly ludicrous when you’re running around in shorts under a blazing sun sun strong you have to slap on 50+ sunscreen, which let me tell you is NOT at all a scent that whispers ‘Christmas.’

Well, at least is doesn’t to me. While I really, really REALLY love warm weather and dislike cold and snow and shovelling the white stuff (been snowbound a few too many times in my life) Coppertone and Hawaiian Tropic and even the so-called fragrance-free sunscreens (trust me here, they do have a smell) don’t conjure up images of Christmas trees, fruitcakes or jolly bearded fat men in red in winter versus summer

However, the scent of allspice, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg kick my brain into Ho-Ho-Ho-dom In an instant. Despite the fact the thermometer on my deck reads 88F.

But that’s just me.

Anyhow, in this second to last day of the 44 Days of Cookies and Coffee, I’m sharing one of the spices of Christmas. It’s one of the most OH YEAH MAMA aromas of Christmas to me. This cookie is like the Andy Williams of Christmas cookies to me. Andy Williams, if you don’t know (as in if you’ve never read this blog before you missed my Ode To Andy). He’s not just “Mr Moon River.” Andy Williams IS MR CHRISTMAS to me. He sings the most awesome of Holidays songs. You KNOW you’ve heard it before:It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. Hope the link works right.

Happy, Merry Wonderful to you all!

Allspice cookies

Oven to 350F/175C

  • 1 ¼ cups flour                                                 ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp baking powder                                       ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature       ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk at room temperature                        ¾ tsp vanilla extract

For cookie top:  Combine ½ tsp allspice and 1/2 cup sugar

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, the allspice, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Cream butter with electric mixer on medium; add sugar and beat until well blended. Add egg yolk and beat 1 minute. Beat in vanilla. Add in flour mixture, slowly.

Take a rounded teaspoon of dough and shape into a ball. Place balls (hee hee hee) 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with baking paper. Flatten each ball with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar/allspice.

Bake 9 – 10 minutes or until cookies are firm to touch.

Serve with a medium roast coffee.

Nominomness:Coffee cup&mug clipart

Cookies + Coffee = 44 Days of Holiday Cookies Day 41: Brown Sugar Rolling Stone Cookies

stonescupIf you’ve been following along these last 41 days, you’ve probably worked out that I have a fondness for simple cookies. I like ’em on the plain side, with a little spice and maybe a little nuts or raisins. If cookie is too sweet, say like a Chocolate chip m&m cookie, it spoils the cookie-coffee combination for me because I have to gulp the coffee to rid my teeth of the sugar overload.

What are you feelings on this cookie thing? Do you like ’em sweet, full o’ chunky things or do you go for simple like me?

Also, because life is so random and I have random thoughts, I am pretty sure Mick Jagger would so totally dig today’s cookies because of the name alone. I mean, come ON, Brown Sugar? How could he and Keith and Charlie and Ronnie not love them?

Also, beacuse life is so random and I have random thoughts, I’ve been wondering if David Bowie would be fond of lemon scented tea cookies –or maybe he is he more of an Oreo fan. Also, have you seen this? It’s “supposed” to be directed by George Clooney. Scorsese eats a cookie.

I’ll put up the gif in a separate post because Mr Goodfella EATING A COOKIE!

Brown Sugar cookies A a fav of Mick Jagger! Well, they could be.

Oven to 350F/175C

  •  1 cup butter, softened             2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs                                      2 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 3 cups flour                             1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger                 ¼ cup extra brown sugar for sprinkle

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and lemon peel; beat well.

Combine the flour, baking soda and ginger; add gradually to creamed mixture and mix well.

Refrigerate for 2 hours

On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick, then cut with 2-in. cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar.

Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Move like Jagger when you eat these, but don’t spill your coffee. I’d suggest a sweet, cocoa-y  Blend like  Starbuck’s Cafe Verona.

NominonmessCoffee cup&mug clipart

Remove from sheet and cool on wire racks