Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Guest post with Leyla Kader Dahm - Annabeth Neverending & Salted Caramel Ankh Cupcakes!

Today I have special treat! A guest post featuring author Leyla Kader Dahm!  To celebrate her new book, Annabeth Neverending, she's stopped by for a little guest baking session :)


Annabeth Neverending
by Leyla Kader Dahm
♦release date: December 15th, 2016
♦paperback, 307 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
At first, teenager Annabeth Prescott thinks she’s found quite a deal when she talks down the price of an ankh pendant she discovers at a flea market. She soon wonders if the bauble is more than she's bargained for when she faints and glimpses images from a past life in ancient Egypt. 

The discovery coincides with another new find: Gabriel, a handsome young man who takes an interest in her. When she meets his twin brother C. J. at a Halloween party, she realizes they look exactly like two boys who figure prominently into her memories.

Does C. J. share the heroic qualities held by his past incarnation Sethe, her bodyguard when she was Princess Ana? Does Gabriel possess the same evil powers he wielded as Kha, the black sorcerer who sought her affection?

Love meets the supernatural in this gripping young adult paranormal romance. Readers with an interest in reincarnation, as well as ancient Egypt, will be drawn to its mystical mixture of history and hesitation as Annabeth sways between the two brothers. 

Will her reincarnated soulmate win out? Or will Kha finally find the way to her heart?

Wisconsin native Leyla Kader Dahm popped popcorn and dreamt of a career in show business while working in a movie theater during high school. The small-town Midwestern girl opted for the practical route and studied communications at Carroll College and Cornell University. But her life changed course dramatically when a temp agency placed her in a production and development gig at Miramax/Dimension Films.

Dahm went on to work as a script consultant for numerous production companies. She appeared in the acclaimed spoken word show Sit ‘N Spin and had her comedy feature spec, Due North, optioned by Michael Levy Enterprises. She sold her pitch, Survival Instinct, to Nickelodeon Original Movies. 

Dahm lives with her husband and children in Los Angeles, where she focuses on writing quality material for families and young adults.


Annabeth Neverending is a fun paranormal romance featuring past lives, magic, and tons of great Egyptian mythology.  To perfectly tie in with her book, Leyla has created these fun cupcakes. They sound delicious (salted caramel is a fave flavor of mine!) and she even instructs on how to make the cute little Ankh cupcake-toppers!  


1 3/4 c boiling water
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c sifted cake flour
2 ts baking soda
1/4 ts salt
10 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 lg eggs
2 ts vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Put cupcake liners in tins.
2. In a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over the chocolate chips. Set aside for 5 minutes. Add the cocoa and stir until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. 
5. Add the flour mixture and half the chocolate mixture. Beat on low speed to combine, and then on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and beat on low speed to combine.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the cupcake pans on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. 



1 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 c butter
1/3 c whole milk
4 c powdered sugar, sifted
1 ts vanilla extract
1/2 ts sea salt

1. Bring first brown sugar and butter to a rolling boil in a 3 1/2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly.
2. Stir in milk, and return to a boil; remove from heat. Pour into bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. 
3. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla at medium speed, using whisk attachment; beat 7 to 10 minutes or until thickened. 
4. Frost cupcakes.


To make the ankh decorations, either use an ankh shaped candy mold like I did, or you can pipe ankh shapes with melted chocolate chips onto wax paper.


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