Today I'm meeting one of my research partners for lunch. She's the friend who suggested I include a brownie recipe in Bronte's Book Club. Pourquoi? It would encourage kids to read!
Hm. The logic sounded wobbly until she explained: As a girl she fell in love with books after finding a fudge recipe in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming. Inspired by the novel and energized by the fudge, she became a voracious reader. Made perfect sense.
So I agreed. My friend offered to help "research" the situation. We wanted something simple, that kids could whip up without ruining the kitchen. Something they might like to serve to friends if they were hosting their own book club. I forget how many boxes of brownies we tried. We experimented with marshmallows, nuts, applesauce, chocolate and butterscotch chips. Some batches were gross, others launched us into a sugar orbit. We begged neighbor kids and family to be taste-testers. Thankfully no one keeled over, in fact, after a few days they finally gave two-thumbs up.
In the story Bronte bakes brownies for her friends. At first no one shows up at her book club, so she freezes the treats for the next time. Eventually however, she eats them straight out of the freezer and needs to bake more. Personal research was helpful here.
Anyway, the recipe is printed in the back of the novel along with hints for getting friends together. Suggestion #9 is my favorite: In the author's experience, dogs are a welcome addition to book clubs. They're good listeners, they clean up spilled snacks, and they don't use cell phones.