Christmas Confections by Shanna Hatfield

Christmas has always been such a beautiful, blessed, wonderful season to me.

A tradition that my mom taught me, one I still carry on, is to bake goodies, infused with love, and share with family and friends.

One year, I spent hours and hours making elaborately frosted sugar cookies. In particular, I recall a little rocking horse that I’d painstakingly decorated with tiny little reins and a saddle accented with mini holly and berries made of icing.

Then my dad and brothers came in for supper and made short work of my creations!

I still make sugar cookies (a recipe I spent years experimenting with until I got it just right), although I don’t spend hours decorating them like I used to.

Sugar Cookies

I also love to make cinnamon rolls and share them with our neighbors when the rolls are warm from the oven and icing is melting into sweet pools all around them.

Cinnamon Rolls

I have an overflowing recipe box with all the traditional sweets I typically make during the holidays.

But while I was researching details for my latest release, I found so many more recipes I’d love to try.

The heroine in the story is a Swedish baker. My goodness! I think I gained five pounds (or ten) just writing about all the delightful pastries and goodies she created in her bakery.

Confection long

The Christmas Confection is book 6 in the Hardman Holidays series, set in the old western town of Hardman, Oregon.

2017 Christmas Confection

Will a sweet baker soften a hardened man’s heart?

 Born to an outlaw father and a shrewish mother, Fred Decker feels obligated to atone for the past without much hope for his future. If he possessed a lick of sense, he’d pack up and leave the town where he was born and raised, but something… someone… unknowingly holds him there. Captivated by Hardman’s beautiful baker, Fred fights the undeniable attraction. He buries himself in his work, refusing to let his heart dream.

Elsa Lindstrom adores the life she’s carved out for herself in a small Eastern Oregon town. She and her twin brother, Ethan, run their own bakery where she delights in creating delicious treats. Then Ethan comes home unexpectedly married, the drunks in town mistakenly identify her as a missing harlot, and a mishap in the bakery leaves her at the mercy of the most gossiped-about man in Hardman.

Mix in the arrival of three fairy-like aunts, blend with a criminal bent on dastardly schemes, and sprinkle in a hidden cache of gold for a sweet Victorian romance brimming with laughter and heartwarming holiday cheer.

Excerpt:

“Well…” Fred gave her an odd look as he stood in the doorway with autumn sunshine spilling all around him.  “There are two other things I’d like.”

“Two?” Elsa asked, wiping her hands on her apron and facing him. “What might those two things be?” She anticipated him asking for a batch of rolls or perhaps a chocolate cake.

“My first request is simple. Please call me Fred. I’d like to think, after all this, we’re friends and all my friends call me Fred.”

Elsa nodded in agreement. “We are friends, Mr. Deck… er, I mean Fred. If you want me to call you Fred then you best refer to me as Elsa.”

The pleased grin on his face broadened. “Very well, Elsa.”

Her knees wobbled at the sound of his deep voice saying her name, but she resisted the urge to grip the counter for support. “You said there were two things you wanted, in addition to cookies. What is the second?”

“It’s a tiny little thing really,” Fred said, tightly gripping his hat in both hands.

“A tiny little thing? Then I shall take great honor in bestowing whatever it is.” Her gaze roved over the kitchen, trying to imagine what in the world Fred could want. She kept a jar full of assorted candy. Sometimes, she used the sweets to decorate cakes and cookies. Perhaps he wanted one. “A piece of candy?” she asked.

Fred shook his head. “No, Elsa. It’s sweeter than candy and far, far better.”

Intrigued, she took a step closer to him. “What is it?”

He waggled his index finger back and forth, indicating she should step closer. When she stood so her skirts brushed against the toes of his boots, he tapped his cheek with the same finger. “A little sugar right here would be even better than ten batches of cookies.”

~ Giveaway ~

red bowed packages on white background

Make sure you enter this drawing for a chance to win a mystery box of Christmas goodies!

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Wishing you all a bright, beautiful, holiday season!

What’s one thing do you always look forward to baking or eating each Christmas?

Shanna Hatfield
After spending her formative years on a farm in Eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky western heroes.
When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

39 Comments

  1. Dressing and cranberry sauce are my favorites.

    1. Yum! I love dressing!
      Thanks for stopping in today, Jerri!

  2. We have these peanut butter cookies that are no bake and delicious.

    1. My aunt is absolutely goofy over peanut butter. And no bake are so fun to make!

    2. I like to make cookies. Oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, sugar, butter, and toffee.

  3. Shanna- I loved Christmas Confections, wow I was so hungry for all of Elsa’s Confections. She certainly kept my taste buds flowing.
    My favorite to make and eat is s good ole Pecan Pie. Oh my… I’m in heaven. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Are you still in Vegas it have you returned home? If you’re still there keep having fun!!!
    Love and hugs, Tonya

    1. Thanks, Tonya! I’ve yet to make a pecan pie. Must try that one of these years! 🙂
      Love and hugs right back to you!

  4. This was my first book to read in this series and I loved it. I wish I had read the other books in the series so I’d better understand Fred Decker! I love your writing style, this was a very sweet read (pun intended!) I’m dying to know your Christmas Cookie recipe! I also do tons of cookie baking for friends ans familt at Christmas. I’m always looking for a new recipe to add each year. My addition last year was a maple walnut cookie that I got from an Facebook friend that also has MS. It was awesome!

    1. So glad you enjoyed the story, Stephanie! 🙂
      My favorite Christmas cookie to bake is sugar cookies! Here is a link to the recipe:
      http://savvyentertaining.com/2013/12/17/sugar-cookies-2/
      Enjoy!

      1. Thank you so much!!

  5. I’m not really a baker. But I do enjoy eating frosted sugar cookies.

    1. Yum, yum! I enjoy eating them, too!

  6. Applesauce Bread

  7. loved reading this story!!

  8. Mincemeat Tarts.

    1. Hi Kathleen! Thank you for stopping by today!

  9. My mouth is watering just seeing the pics of the sugar cookies and the cinnamon rolls.

  10. love cinnamon rolls, i make ginger snaps loved the story

    1. Hi Kim!
      So glad you enjoyed the story. Ginger snaps sound delish!
      Thanks for stopping by today!

  11. My favorite now is my hubby’s chocolate mint fudge. However, I used to make all kinds of cookies when my boys were home. Can’t stand for long periods anymore. Your cookies are a real gift. My grandchildren got to cut shapes out of pie dough to put on top of the pies their mom made for Thanksgiving. They chose dinasours shapes.

  12. Just a little story to brighten your day. We always made cookies for 4-H. Well, one little girl was asked why she made her cookies so big and her answer was “I have brothers and they want cookies that are more than one bite”.

  13. Talking about cookies, made me forget. I’ve read “The Christmas Confection” and I loved it. Wrote a short review too. It was a great and fun story.

    1. That fudge sounds so good, Nancy! Yum! And I loved the story about the little 4-H girl! So fun!
      Thank you for reading and reviewing the book! 🙂

  14. I have German background, and my grandmother passed on a family tradition of a dough which is fried in an aebleskiver pan, called Owsenows (pronounced Oh-sin-ohs)and I’ve never found a recipe anything close to them. It’s a sourdough with currants, which you dip in sugar. Family tradition is to make them for Christmas through New Years.

    1. We love aebleskivers but I’ve never heard of Owsenows. Sounds so yummy! How fun your family tradition is to make them during the holidays!

  15. I always look forward to Jam cake, Red Velvet Cake and Peanut Butter Blossoms.
    Merry Christmas!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I love red velvet cake!
      Thanks for stopping in today, Connie!

  16. I always look forward to the christmas cookies! I’m not so good at baking them, but I love to decorate them. lol

    1. That’s fun, Susan! You need to team up with someone who likes to bake but not decorate! 🙂

  17. I make my doctored version of mince meat pie. I don’t really know if anyone else likes it, but I always look forward to it. Two things everyone looks forward to are Swiss Merengue Horns and Sour Cream Crescents. Neither can be considered low calorie Swiss Merengue Horns are a delicate cookie that isn’t really difficult to make, it just has several steps. You make a dough with butter, eggs, sour cream, flour, yeast, etc. and chill it. You make a merengue -egg whites sugar and vanilla. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls. Roll each out on a confectionary sugar covered board. Cut it into 12 wedges, spread with merengue, sprinkle with chopped walnuts, and roll up starting at the wide end. Place on a cookie sheet, let rise, and bake. While still hot, drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. A great cookie for special events and cookie exchanges since it makes 12 dozen. Sour Cream Crescents are a yeast roll made with butter and sour cream. Chill the dough, cut into 10 balls, roll out on a lightly floured board, and cut into wedges. Roll up fat end first and place on cookie sheet. Let rise until double and bake jIt makes 10 dozen. They just melt in your mouth. I also look forward to making Bourbon Balls. They are rather potent.

    1. Oh, thank you for sharing the recipe! Will have to try it!
      And thanks for stopping by today!

  18. I make applesauce fruitcake to give as gifts. I started doing it as a way to share apples and walnuts from our orchard with my family back East. We are also a family who bakes breads and cookies for Christmas…..mincefruit rolls for Christmas breakfast, squash rolls, cinnamon buns, sourdough bread for gifts, lebkuchen, chocolate covered cherry cookies, sugar cookies. We have three daughters and they each had their own favorite to make. Now they bake them at their own homes and bring them to our house to share.

    1. Love your baking traditions Alice! So fun your daughters are creating their own traditions to bring to share with the rest of the family!

  19. I always make sweet potato casserole…my husband loves it!

    1. My mom is a sweet potato fan. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping in today, Melanie!

  20. My mouth is drooling looking at those cinnamon rolls. I love them . A side dish we make during the Holidays is mashed potatoes and mashed turnips mixed together with a little milk and butter. It’s so good. My kids , all 7 have to have it at their Holiday dinners or it doesn’t seem like the holidays. I look forward to the Italian cookie, Cucidati. Love, love them. Takes a lot of time and prep work and that:’s why we have it only at Christmas.
    Carol Luciano

    1. Hi Carol!
      Thanks for stopping in today. So fun your family has certain must-have dishes for the holidays. I bet those cookies are delicious!
      Happy Holidays to you!

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