Okay here it goes: Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen series is hands down my absolute favorite guilty pleasure. Purely fluff fiction, these books follow a wonderfully predictable formula about a Midwestern baker, Hannah, who lives in a small town called Lake Eden and solves delicious little murders. Every day she literally has upwards of 25 cups of coffee and dozens of cookies and we’re here for it.
What I really want to stressssss is the comfort that these books bring. For instance, when the pandemic first hit, and everything was anxiety, anxiety, anxiety… you know what I did? I Amazon primed 2 new Joanne Fluke’s, enough said.
the book: Banana Cream Pie Murder (and every other J.Fluke book)
The beauty of these books is that you can start anywhere, and you won’t be that lost… but if you want to do yourself a favor – start from the beginning, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, so you get an idea of the tone.
I will admit, these books might not be FOR everyone. But who knows, even if scholarly-grade literature is your thing, you might still enjoy some predictable and delicious fun with one of these easy-to-read stories. ALSO, fun fact: they’ve made Hallmark movies out of these books called Murder, She Baked. So get your girls, get your bottle of vodka and get your remote…ready set BAKE.
the bite: chocolate banana cream tarts
The recipes included in Joanne Fluke’s novels are all about ease and indulgence, so we have made these veryyyy easy chocolate & banana cream tarts. There is essentially zero cooking involved for these bite-size treats (especially if you buy pre-made chocolate pudding & whip) and the recipe is quite flexible… i.e. sub raspberries for bananas, if bananas aren’t your thing.
- 1 package mini phyllo dough shells, we used Athens
- 1 package instant chocolate pudding mix, we used Jell-O
- 1 pint cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 banana
- Vanilla Extract
- Heat the phyllo shells according to box directions; then set aside to cool
- Assemble your chocolate pudding according to box directions
- In a large bowl, combine about half a pint of whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon sugar ; using a hand mixer whip on high speed until peaks form
- Begin assembling your tarts by adding the pudding, whip cream, and banana slice
- Note – I used a pastry bag to add the pudding and whip cream, because ain’t nobody get time for mezzzzzy phyllo shells