The last time this guest was at the blog she shared the recipe for Seven Devils Saloon Apple Pie Shooters! (yum) Let’s see what she has in store for us today, welcome Candis Terry!
Candis: Hey! How are you? Thanks for having me back!
Lexi: I am like you, or at least the Candy side of you that comes out in your Sweet Texas series, and I adore sweets. Good old American apple pie is hard to beat. But when you throw home made goodies into a book, pure perfection. In the writing of this series did you have to do any hard core taste testing? Hit up a string of pie shops all in one day?
Candis: I am really all about the research and writing the Sweet, Texas series has been detrimental to my waistline. When I put cowboy boots on the ground in Texas I sampled everything from deep fried pickles, sweet potato fries, deep fried cheesecake, Texas style barbecue, and a line up of sugary treats that still make my mouth water! And of course I had to imbibe in the Wilder brothers favorite, Shiner Bock Ale. I do like to be authentic and when it comes to good food I’m more than willing to take one for the team.
Lexi: In Sweet Surprise, Fiona Wilder runs a cupcake shop. I admit I can’t make them but I have seen and even been lucky enough to eat some cupcakes that appear to have been made by a cake god. How creative is Fiona with her cupcakes? Does she have a favorite flavor?
Candis: My husband makes better cupcakes than me. So, again, I did the research at a local cupcakery and found a lot of inspiration for the cupcakes in Sweet Surprise. She’s more than willing to experiment and often concocts a cupcake based on a tropical drink. Her Tequila Sunrise cupcake is topped with a light and fluffy orange zest frosting. Fiona has an alter ego she calls Naughty Fiona, and her naughty side prefers the most decadent treat she can come up with. And it’s one she only shares with a certain smoking hot firefighter. But I can tell you her secret. Her favorite is a sweet potato cupcake with brown sugar cream cheese frosting and candied pecans. Want the recipe (please don’t tell her I gave it to you!)? I posted it below.
Lexi: You know, cupcakes and wine go together very well. Just saying. You are at the right blog today. Not to mention we also love strong men who have been through the fire and come out a better man. Your hero, Mike Halsey, has done that literally and figuratively. He’s a firefighter who has dealt with his share of life’s curveballs. What is Mike’s most defining characteristic?
Candis: Sigh. I just love Mike. And it’s the sincerity of his loyalty that really defines him. Sometimes to a fault. Every scene I wrote with him, I could just feel his passion. No matter how much he wanted Fiona, he felt his valuable friendship with Jackson Wilder would be in jeopardy if he acted on his desires. So he held back. Well, for as long as he could anyway. In the end, you really believe that he’s the man for Fiona. And that just makes my heart very happy.
Lexi: I was hoping you would say his gigantic sweet tooth, ha! The romance between Mike and Fiona sounds so sweet. Fitting really, for the Sweet Texas series. Can you spill a little and tell us your favorite moment between these two? Or, can you at least tell us if food is involved?
Candis: There are a lot of big things about Mike—his heart, his hands, his feet, his . . . you get the picture. I can tell you the scene takes place in the cupcake shop. And I can tell you my favorite moment is when he finally gives in and kisses her. My heart still tingles when I think of that scene because it was literally Mike throwing in the towel. But don’t think everything is sunshine and roses after that. Oh no. These two had a looooong way to go.
Lexi: I have fallen in love with the sound of this book and it will fit in perfectly with the peach pie I will be making. Thank you for stopping by again, Candis! Congrats on the release of Sweet Surprise and we hope to see you back for Truly Sweet!
Candis: Thank you so much for letting me stop by today. I can’t wait to come back and talk about Jake Wilder’s story. He. Is. Hot!
Now here’s Fiona’s recipe (it’s a long one!).
Fiona’s Decadent Sweet Potato Cupcakes, Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting, Candied Pecans
16 oz can sweet potatoes or 2 cups of cooled fresh cooked sweet potatoes
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. Puree sweet potatoes in a food processor. Set aside. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
3. In large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs. Add dry ingredients. Whisk in sweet potato puree.
4. Fill cupcake liners half full of batter.
5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz package room temperature cream cheese
3 sticks room temperature butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:
1. Beat cream cheese until creamy in a mixer bowl using the paddle attachment.
2. Add butter and beat till completely combined.
3. Add light brown sugar and beat till fluffy.
4. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until well combined.
5. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 egg white
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound chopped pecans
Candied Pecans Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Beat egg white in a bowl until frothy.
4. Whisk 4 teaspoons water and vanilla extract into the egg.
5. Stir sugar, cinnamon and salt into the egg mix.
6. Add chopped pecans and stir until completely coated.
7. Spread pecans onto baking sheet.
8. Bake pecans about 1 hour, stirring frequently, until coating forms a glaze.
9. Allow to cool on baking sheet.
Frost cooled cupcakes then sprinkle with candied pecans.
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