The Recipe Club + Swedish Crescent Cookies

Congratulations Amy J in SC and Jamie!

Whenever I hear about a promising food novel or memoir, I take the opportunity to write the author to propose a book review and giveaway. I love sharing these new books with my readers and helping the authors spread the word about their fabulous work. The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel is another such book. Read on for more about the book, a recipe, and how you can win one of 2 copies!

The authors of The Recipe Club effortlessly weave recipes throughout the story of two girls, Lilly and Valerie. Despite being two very different personalities, Lilly and Valerie are sworn childhood friends. The story begins with the main characters attempting to reunite after years of silence. At first all is well, but soon past misunderstandings and betrayals begin to falter Lilly and Valerie’s attempt at renewed friendship.

The novel then takes a turn to the past where the bulk of the story is told through letters exchanged between the two main characters from their childhood through young adult years. Lilly and Valerie have formed their own exclusive “Recipe Club.” With each letter one friend sends the other an accompanying recipe. The recipes themselves are beautifully formatted on their own pages and indexed in the back.

As the girls grow into women they continue exchanging letters and recipes with one another. Ultimately, Lilly and Valerie feel betrayed by one another and decide to move on with life, friendship aside, but neither has truly forgotten what they once shared. Years later, Lilly and Valerie are engrossed in a last ditch effort to recover their once beloved relationship when a terrible secret is revealed that threatens to destroy their happy memories of each other for good.

The Recipe Club will surely evoke memories of the often complex woman to woman relationships in your own life. Silliness. Fall outs. Reunions. Brutal Honesty. Beauty. Joy. Jealousy. Unconditional love. Apologies. Unspoken feelings. At times I found myself forgetting that this was a novel and not a memoir of two real life friends. It was amazing to see how this friendship grew and changed through the seasons of life, how the characters ultimately find out who they truly are as individuals, and in the end find their way back to one another. You’ll have to read the book to find out if they’ve found their way back for good, or only temporarily.

These Swedish Crescent Cookies are perfect for the Holidays and easy to make. Add some citrus zest (lemon, lime, or orange) for a little extra flavor and substitute different nuts for variations. Using a food processor to finely chop the nuts makes these cookies a breeze!

Swedish Crescent Cookies

adapted from The Recipe Club

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, plus additional for coating
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
zest of one lemon

Directions:

In a bowl, beat the butter and 1/2 cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the almond extract, yolk. Beat till combined. Slowly stir in the in the flour, nuts, and zest.

For the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc shape. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove a heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, shaping into crescent shapes. Arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are lightly golden around the edges, about 15-20 minutes. While still warm, coat the cookies with confectioners sugar. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 3 dozen.

The Rules:

  • Comment on THIS post by 11:59 pm PST December 20th
  • Anonymous comments: leave your email address and first name in the comments.
  • 2 random winners will be announced December 21st.
  • Contest open to US and Canadian Residents only.

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p.s. Thanks so much to whoever is my Secret Santa. Your sweet gift arrived on what was a very hectic and trying day and I so appreciated it. It definitely brightened the mood. The towels were perfect and I used one in the photo for this post.