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Monday, June 20, 2016

Curry Parmesan Shortbread inspired by He Will Be My Ruin

Curry Parmesan Shortbread inspired by He Will Be My Ruin
Today I'm hosting a TLC Book Tours stop for the new thriller by K.A. Tucker titled He Will Be My Ruin. I love edge-of-your-seat suspense stories and this was one that I couldn't put down...literally. I started it in the morning and was finished by the end of the day. It's the story of two women who were best friends since childhood. Only when Maggie, the wealthy philanthropist comes home after the news of Celine's death does she realize how many secrets she was keeping from her.

Although the police are calling it a suicide, Maggie doesn't believe that is the case, and she sets out to uncover the mysterious circumstances behind the death of her beloved friend. Throw in a handful of intriguing and nuanced supporting characters and some unexpected twists and turns, and I was hooked (just when I thought I knew what was coming, I was blindsided).

All is resolved in the end, but you'll have to read it to find out the heartbreaking direction that Celine's wound up in that wound up leading to more than one death.

As far as food goes, it isn't what you'd call a foodcentric novel, but there was plenty of inspiration in the pages. Some of the things mentioned were gelato, breakfast enchiladas, coffee, tea, a foot-long hotdog with hot peppers and mayo, bourbon, popcorn, sage, pizza, vodka, ramen noodles, tuna, dirty martini, chestnut, eggnog cheesecake, parsnips, roasted squash, steak, fries, Champagne, Cheetos, caramel latte, egg with a runny yolk, and rye toast.
Curry Parmesan Shortbread
However, one food in particular was mentioned no less than six times, and that was shortbread made by Celine's octogenarian neighbor across the hall, Ruby. Everybody loved Ruby's shortbread and she never wasted an occasion to offer up a batch to calm nerves, nourish bodies, or coax somebody into doing something.

I don't think there's a better food to represent this book than a batch of shortbread inspired by the one that everybody in the story loved so much.

I grab one and take a bite. And moan just like Grady, as the buttery cookie melts in my mouth, hints of curry and parmesan sparking my taste buds.

He nudges my leg with his. "See?"

"You're right, this is the best damn shortbread I've ever had. And it's not just because I'm high."

I was intrigued by the description since it included both curry and parmesan, a flavor combo that I can't remember trying before. The thing is, in my mind, I saw them as having a little sweetness to them as well. So, I made a batch of lightly sweetened, sandy, melt-in-your-mouth cookies that had savory, salty, and spicy notes from the addition of parmesan cheese and homemade curry powder.

And Maggie's reaction above? That about sums things up.

Curry Parmesan Shortbread
This melt-in-your-mouth shortbread is the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and spicy. You won't be able to eat just one!
Print Friendly and PDF
Curry Parmesan Shortbread
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes (+ 1 hour in fridge)
Cook Time: 15-18 minutes
Keywords: bake snack vegetarian butter

Ingredients (2 1/2 dozen)
  • 8 ounces (1 cup / 16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at soft room temperature
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated or finely shredded Parmesan cheese, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
In a large bowl, eat the butter and sugar with a handmixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes
Sift the remaining ingredients together and bit into the butter mixture a little at a time until no dry spots remain.

Scrape the dough out onto a sheet or parchment or wax paper and form into a log that is just over an inch thick (you can leave it round or flatten the edges to make it into a square or rectangle). Wrap well and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices and place onto prepared baking sheets at least 1-inch apart. Use a fork to prick the dough all over. Slice into oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Store completely cooled shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month.
Curry Parmesan Shortbread inspired by He Will Be My Ruin

He Will Be My Ruin book jacket

He Will Be My Ruin
author: K. A. Tucker
publisher: Atria Books
source: TLC Book Tours
hard cover:352 pages

"foodie" read: No, but there is definitely inspiration to be found in the pages.

random excerpt: I'm on the roof. I expect to find snow-coated concrete and utility meters and pigeon poop up here. Instead, a wooden fence door stands about ten feet away, with lattice-screen walls on either side, a bramble of dead vines weaving through the gaps, blocking the view beyond. I don't hesitate to seize the metal handle and yank it open. p. 49

teaser: On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

about the author: K.A. Tucker is the author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and the Burying Water series. She currently resides outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.
author photo

connect with the author: website | facebook | twitter

recipe inspired by the book: Curry Parmesan Shortbread


I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.