10 Things You Should Know About Lenora

Lenora Bell - Author Photo

  1. She’s from a tiny town in Alaska and a moose followed her home from school once.
  2. Some of her favorite historical romance friends and authors are Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, and Sarah MacLean (among a host of others).
  3. She has something fun in common with Nora Roberts! They both married carpenters they hired.
  4. One of her most treasured possessions is a white lace-edged day dress worn by her Swiss great-grandmother, also named Lenora.
  5. She’s a karaoke fanatic and her go-to songs include At Last by Etta James and Hopelessly Devoted to You by Olivia Newton John.
  6. Her bucket list includes recording an alt-country album on vinyl with her banjo-playing hubby.
  7. She knows how to order cocktails in six languages. ¡Me gustaría un mojito por favor!
  8. She got married in Bangkok.
  9. She can’t decide what color her hair should be.
  10. She would adore receiving an email from you!

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Candy Cane Crush

Posted at Nov 24, 2014 6:30 pm in , ,



I’m so excited to be part of the Avon Authors Holiday Recipe Ring this year! I knew immediately the recipe I wanted to share…

When I graduated from college, my grandma entrusted me with two of her treasured holiday cookie recipes, inscribed in rounded, Sunday School teacher handwriting on recipe cards. The first was for Spritz cookies, or Spritzgebäck, a traditional German holiday butter cookie that are pushed through a cookie press with patterned holes.

I love Spritz, and the ritual of the vintage cookie press, but they are fairly labor intensive, so it’s the second recipe I make every holiday season.

Red and white Candy Cane Cookies are always so pretty on serving trays and they’re so moist and almond-y that you won’t be able to eat just one. 




  • 2 1/2 Cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Cup unsalted butter (room temperature – cut into pieces)
  • 1 Cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks (don’t beat – keep them at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (pure is always better)
  • food coloring

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter with sugar until smooth. Add the 2 room temperature egg yolks and vanilla and almond extracts. Beat in the flour.

Divide dough in half, add red food coloring to one half. Wrap two dough balls in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until firm.

Take walnut-sized piece of each color of dough and roll each color separately into 4.5 inch rope.
NOTE: Only do about three cookies at a time, keep the rest of the dough refrigerated. 
Place the two ropes (one red, one white) side by side, gently press ends together, and twist the two ropes into a spiral.

Place the cookies on parchment-lined backing sheet 2 inches apart. Shape into candy canes.
If cookies are too soft to place onto baking sheet, put them back in the fridge for 1o mins.
NOTE: Temperature of the dough is key here. You don’t want it too hard or too soft. 

Place cookie rack in center of oven and bake 8-10 mins or until edges are very slightly brown.
Let cookies cool on pan before removing onto wire racks.

For photo instructions on how to twist the cookies, visit  The Yuppie Chef.

These striped treats keep throughout the season if you layer them in wax paper in a cookie tin.

Don’t miss the next stop on the Avon Authors Holiday Recipe Tour! The lovely Carey Baldwin’s Southwestern Holiday Tamales!



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