Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, J.M. Maurer, and her recipe for Baked Brie along with an introduction to her contemporary romance, Seeking Redemption (Emerging From Darkness, Book #2). Please join me in welcoming J.M. and savor her recipe for Baked Brie as you read about her new book!
Hello! I’m really excited to be here.
In the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, we meet Jessica Winters, the registered nurse who spends more time eating chocolate than making anything from it, and Matthew Moi, the witty sex therapist who knows a great deal about the sexual benefits of cocoa, but prefers caramel. Throughout their growing relationship, the two are constantly waging a loving war, using each of their second loves—chocolate and caramel—to rile the other.
The last time I visited, I shared Easy Nutella Pie. It’s very much something Jessica would make. After all, it consists of only 5 ingredients and doesn’t even need to be baked!!
Matthew on the other hand, with his French heritage, is a natural cook. In Seeking Redemption (Emerging From Darkness Book 2), Matthew surprises Jess on her birthday, turning what she’d been conditioned to consider as just another day into an unbelievable evening. One of the items Matthew cooked for her was baked Brie—mais oui bien sûr—but, of course.
Here is what he made Jess.
Matthew’s Baked Brie
1 package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
1 wheel of Brie (14-16 ounces)
¾ cup of pecans
½ cup of brown sugar
4 slices of butter (about a quarter inch thick)
First, if you have never worked with Brie and if you want to remove the outer white shell of the wheel (the mold), I suggest placing your wheel into the freezer for about 45 minutes before you are ready to use it. Freezing it for this short time will make your job a lot easier. Use a serrated knife to cut it off when ready. However, that outer white rind, called the flora, is edible and is packed with a lot of flavor. It is completely up to you if you wish to remove this part of the Brie or not.
Once you’ve settled that dilemma, thaw your package of Puff Pastry (This takes about 20 minutes, depending on the conditions inside your house. To thaw, take the 2 pastries out of the box, as well as the paper wrapping they are enclosed in, and then set them aside.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Spray a baking sheet that has four raised sides with cooking spray or use parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking.
Prepare a board or your countertop with lightly sprinkled flower and carefully unfold the pastry dough when it’s ready. Because I purchased my wheel from Costco, I had 20 oz of Brie. In order to accommodate for the extra amount of Brie, I cut off a strip from the second pastry sheet and attached it to the first sheet. To do this, I simply overlapped it, and then pressed them together with my fingers. Then, moving over the rest of the dough, I flattened out the seams.
Place the Brie pastry onto your prepared baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until the pastry puffs and the outside is golden brown. Don’t worry if your pastry oozes; mine often does. In fact, with the remaining 2 pieces of pastry, I usually steal a bit from the Brie wheel and make a small version with it, using the same ingredients, and then dump all of the cheese that oozed out onto the mini pastry once they’re done. Waste not, want not, right?
Allow the baked Brie to sit for 5 minutes before cutting.
Matthew loves surprising Jess with picnics. Given that environment, he would undoubtedly serve this with fruit like apple wedges or grapes. But since he surprised her in a different way, he served it with something a bit more spectacular for her special day.
He believes that you should do more than take a look!
Perhaps, he suggests, eat it while lounging in a cozy nook while reading a romantic book. 🙂
*Note: I am not affiliated with or being paid by either Pepperidge Farm or Costco.
After surviving a bitter divorce and emerging from a darkness that became all too familiar, Jessica finds herself on top of the world, her soulful awakening allowing her to feel again, trust again, and even love again. Her painful past, however, is relentless, both physically and emotionally, bombarding her daily and not allowing her to overcome the lingering demons that ultimately control her life.
As Matthew lovingly guides her toward a healthy future, his own secrets become known, threatening to destroy the trusting relationship that had quickly grown between them. But despite what life throws her way, Jessica pledges to put the past in the past, accepting that events are often out of her control. She fights for a future with the man who drew her out of the darkness, steering her onto a healing path . . . seeking redemption.
Grandma O flipped the light switch to what she called my office and stood just inside the door, her soft features and gentle smile inviting me in. I shivered, poised one step away, with a strange yet familiar emotion rushing through me—an awareness that the instant I entered, my life would be forever changed. Again.
Was this Matthew’s plan all along? They all seemed in on it, the thought making me feel railroaded and agitated, yet oddly aroused and enchanted too. Unsure how to deal with such conflicting emotions, I moved forward, looking to Grandma O for answers as I walked through.
The office was spacious, slightly smaller than Matthew’s, with a mahogany desk in the far corner and in front of an expansive bank of floor-to-ceiling windows. I ran my fingertips along the colorful wall of psychology books and periodicals as I walked along, passing a leather couch on my way to the desk, my desk, and paused in front of an empty nook within the bookcase.
It struck me as odd, the cold wooden surface needing something to spruce it up, make it mine. I had to think about that, my anxiety making it difficult to ponder the issue, my restlessness preventing me from staying in one place.
I moved to the windows and stared out the tiny cracks between the blinds, the world outside just as complicated as the one I had chosen to live in.
“We all read your master’s thesis,” Grandma O said, her voice pulling me out of my thoughts. “It’s obvious you have a natural gift for research and writing.”
I turned and looked at her, questioning how they’d gotten their hands on a copy.
Sedation in the ICU: Patient Accounts of Their Dreams, Their Pain, Their Fears; I hadn’t published it. As it was, after countless hours revisiting old charts and conducting hundreds of interviews, I’d never been more nervous or scared the instant it was pulled from my tight grip to be placed into the hands of someone who would actually read it. There was no way I’d ever publish it, opening myself up to a world filled with critics.
“If you’re wondering, Dr. Moi is a personal friend of Professor Marienetti. The sexual fantasies accounted for and described within your research were fascinating, probably more so than Dr. Marienetti could digest. We’re baffled as to why you chose not to publish. The results, Jess, are far reaching, from ICUs to dentists’ offices. You have a special gift; embrace it.”
She walked toward me and leaned her back against the wall, her gaze drinking in the room.
“This office has been vacant, just waiting for you. You could do great things here.” She patted my arm, her grandmotherly smile telling me it would all be okay. “I’m next door if you need anything.”
Embrace it, I thought, watching as she walked out the door. I’d heard that advice before—from Matthew. I sighed and looked down upon the desk, the one I knew would take me a while to start calling my own.
My desk, my office, my couch, it all sounded quite foreign. I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not.
Buy the Book:
Amazon US: bit.ly/amznSkR
Amazon UK: bit.ly/SkRamznUK
Amazon CA: bit.ly/SkRamznCA
Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/SkReBN
J.M. Maurer lives with her family in Chicago. She makes it a point to never work on a full moon and cringes when a coworker uses the “Q” word—never, ever say, “It’s a quiet day today,” at her day job.
Known for being overly superstitious, she can usually be found scraping at the remnants of a Nutella container, screaming at a hockey game, or putting pen to paper, allowing the “real” crazy voices in her head to come alive. And after all this, it’s no wonder she’s an incurable romantic and loves escaping the rat race of life to immerse herself inside the world of a really good romance book . . . because, after all, what’s better than a happily-ever-after?
Connect with J.M.:
Amazon Author Page: bit.ly/AmznJMMaurer
Seeking Hope (Emerging From Darkness Book 3 ~ Fall/winter 2015)
The conclusion to the captivating romantic trilogy where love came easy, forgiveness came with time, but healing from devastating loss proved daunting. Together, Jessica and Matthew pursue an extraordinary future . . . seeking hope.
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!