And a Sweet Treat?
Are you looking for a Halloween Read? If so, I would recommend The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch. It has been translated into English and was one of the free books given away by Amazon Crossing for World Book Day in April 2019. The Kindle edition is especially fun since it is a Book In Motion. Check out the fun animated video about the book on Amazon.
The Hangman’s Daughter is a whodunnit that takes place in Bavaria in 1659. I am confused by the title since it is not a tale about the hangman’s daughter. She is undoubtedly one of the characters, but the focus is almost entirely on the hangman and a young physician who is in love with the hangman’s daughter. The two men seek to find out who murdered two young orphans, to find two other missing orphans, and to save a midwife from being put to death as a witch.
The other characters include dishonest politicians, ignorant townspeople, suspicious folk from a nearby village, unkind foster families, and evil henchmen, one of whom is so scary he is known as The Devil. This historical fiction novel has intrigue, murder, kidnapping, property damage, and bodily harm. All of this occurs in the midst of a system of beliefs where the hangman and his family were kept outside the city walls for being outcasts; witch hunts were still common; superstitions were believed; medicine was very primitive; and torture was considered the best way to get a confession, even if the accused was not guilty.
Usually I am terrible about figuring out whodunnit, but in this case, I had made a guess before page 200 and confirmed it before page 320. Even so, the book was an entertaining read and again, would be great for Halloween. It was my bookclub’s July 2019 selection. We even played several rounds of the game Hangman as part of the evening. 4-Star
And now for my Recipes For Readers Recommendation:
I am very lucky to have a daughter-in-law who loves to bake. Last weekend Sarah treated us to these yummy Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies. They would be perfect for the office Halloween party, Thanksgiving, or anytime you need to satisfy your craving for pumpkin!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
FOR THE COOKIES
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. pumpkin puree
FOR THE FILLING
4 tbsp. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment and grease with cooking spray.
Make the cookies: In a medium bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, and baking powder until combined. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in pumpkin.
Add dry ingredients to the wet and fold to combine. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2” apart onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from oven and use a greased teaspoon to make indentations in the center of cookies. Continue baking until edges are golden, about 7 more minutes.
If indentations have puffed, press down while cookies are warm. Let cool two minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat butter with cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe into cooled cookies. Sprinkle with more pumpkin spice mix.