Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bake, Love, Write...Week 5

HUGE thank you to all the authors who have allowed me to feature their recipes over the past several weeks. And, a special hug and enormous gratitude to my RWA chapter mate, Lois Winston, for her assistance in gathering all of this information. Lois, you're a talented author, wonderful chapter mate, and supportive friend.

And, thank you, Readers, for joining us for each post.

Caridad Pineiro: Cuban Flan

Why a Cuban Flan recipe? Well, first, because I’m Cuban-American. Second, I have the world’s worst sweet tooth. I think meals should begin with dessert and only then proceed to anything else. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to convince others of that.

I learned to make flan from my grandmother. Her process for making the caramel was like making candy, resulting in a sweet caramel that’s lighter in color—actually clear if you don’t want to push the cooking.

1 cup plain white sugar
6 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Magnolia or Eagle Brand are favorites!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a large baking pan filled halfway with hot, but not boiling, water in the oven. This will make what is called a bain-marie. The bain-marie will help keep the flan from drying out and will allow it to cook evenly.

Start with 1/2 cup of sugar and dissolve it in 1/2 cup to 1 cup water. Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved before you begin to heat it. If you have any sugar left, it will form crystals and be gritty. Once the sugar is dissolved, set the pan with the sugar over medium heat in a heavy medium/small saucepan or preferably, an ovenproof dish. Use a wooden spoon to stir until the sugar water is reduced (It should get thicker as it cooks.) Grandma liked it light, but you can let it get golden and keep on going until it is a dark brown. (Be very careful! Cooked sugar is very hot and can burn the skin if it spatters.)

If you did not use an ovenproof pan/dish, quickly pour the hot caramel syrup into an ungreased baking dish. Swirl the pan until the sugar coats the bottom and sides of the pan/dish. The caramel will start to harden at this point. When you cook the flan in the oven, the caramel will melt and create a syrup that the flan will swim in.

Gently mix together the eggs and egg yolks. Do not create too much froth or bubbles as these will linger and ruin the texture of the flan. Add the condensed milk and gently mix a little more. Then add the rest of the regular whole milk (for ease and to get all the condensed milk, put the whole milk into the can and use it to wash out the thick condensed milk that lingers in the can.) Gently stir until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla extract.

Pour egg/milk custard mixture into the baking dish (make sure the caramel has set against the sides and bottom of the pan.)

Set this baking dish into the larger baking pan. Add boiling water to the baking pan until it is about halfway up the side of the dish with the flan mixture.

Bake 35-40 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If it’s a little soft (but not runny,) that’s okay as it will continue to cook for a bit. Let the flan cool in the water. After half an hour or so, remove the flan from the bain-marie and refrigerate for at least an hour or more.

It's actually preferable to make the flan the day before and let it sit overnight so the caramel soaks into the outermost layer. 

Before serving, run a sharp knife around the edge of the flan to release it from the baking dish. Place a larger serving plate (preferably with a small lip to keep the caramel liquid from spilling) over the baking dish, and invert the flan onto the serving platter. Keep refrigerated until it is time to serve the flan.

For simple variations, you can add a little Amaretto or Grand Marnier to both the caramel and the custard mix. For more complex variations, try a chocolate flan. One delicious variation is to increase the number of egg yolks and eliminate the egg whites entirely. This will make a very thick rich egg custard called Toscinillo del Cielo.

NY Times and USA Today Bestseller Caridad Pineiro is a Jersey Girl who just wants to write, travel, and spend more time with family and friends. Caridad is the author of nearly 50 novels/novellas and loves romance novels, super heroes, TV and cooking. Caridad writes dark and sexy romantic suspense and paranormal romances for those who live to love on the edge. Her sweet, but still naughty side, Charity Pineiro, writes contemporary romances packed with emotion and humor.

For more information on Caridad/Charity, please visit,

Diana Orgain: No-Bake Peanut Butter, Marshmallow, Chocolate, Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups quick cook oatmeal
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini marshmallows

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the sugar, milk, and butter, stirring to combine. Cook over high heat and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, mix together oats, peanut butter, and marshmallows. Add the sugar mixture to the bowl, then the vanilla extract. Stir well to combine.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill

Diana Orgain is the bestselling author of the Maternal Instincts Mystery Series: Bundle of Trouble, Motherhood is Murder and Formula for Murder, and Nursing a Grudge. She is also the other of the Love or Money Mystery series and Yappy Hour (coming in November 2015)

Diana is the NY Times Bestselling co-author of the Scrapbooking Mystery Series with Laura Childs.

Check out Diana at

For information on Diana's newsletter, visit

Buy Links:

Includes contributions by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors

What do most authors have in common, no matter what genre they write? They love desserts. Sweets sustain them through pending deadlines and take the sting out of crushing rejection letters and nasty reviews. They also often celebrate their successes--selling a book, winning a writing award, making a bestseller list, or receiving a fabulous review--with decadent indulgences. And when authors chat with each other, they often talk about their writing and their lives. Recipes. Writing. Relationships. In this cookbook 105 authors not only share their favorite recipes for fabulous cakes, pies, cookies, candy, and more, they also share the best advice they've ever received on love and writing.    


Barnes & Noble:


Have a good week, Everyone!

(coffee mug photo c/o


  1. Angela, thanks so much for featuring Bake, Love, Write over the last several weeks! You're a real sweetheart!

    1. It wouldn't have been possible with your help, Lois! Thanks so much!!!

  2. Cookies...nom! Thanks for sharing all of these recipes!!

    1. These recipes put me in the mood for Autumn and my pumpkin coffee!

  3. Thanks for sharing the recipe! It's a family favorite!

    1. You're welcome, Caridad! I appreciate you taking part in our month of recipes!!

  4. Anyone interested in cooking can find a lot of great recipes here. And it's an excellent promotion for all those participating authors. Great blog.

    1. Not only were the recipes great, but they were for everyone's favorite part of the meal -- dessert! Thanks, Marion, for stopping by!!

  5. Flan! I LOVE flan! AND no-bake cookies! I love this!

    1. Great recipes, and easy, too! Thanks, Red, for visiting!!