Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye {Russian Vatrushka recipe & giveaway}

Hello everyone! Today I'm super excited to be taking part in the blog tour for 
The Crown's Fate!!!

This highly anticipated sequel and finale to The Crown's Game just hit stores yesterday and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy and tear through it. The Crown's Game was one of my faves last year and  I must know what happened to Nikolai after that heartbreaking ending!!

So my part in celebrating this amazing book release is, of course, to present you with sweets!! Russian Vatrushka are a traditional tea-time sweet bun filled with cheese and sometimes fruit (which of course, I did both LOL) SO, check out more about the book, try your hand at baking this delectable dessert, and don't forget to enter the fantastic tour-wide giveaway to win a skype session with the brilliant Evelyn Skye and a beautiful tote designed by Evie Seo!

by Evelyn Skye
♦publisher: Balzer & Bray
♦release date: May 16, 2017
♦hardcover, 416 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: book 2, The Crown's Game duology
  ♦my review of book 1: The Crown's Game

Magic is growing, shadows are rising, and the throne is at stake…

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

•Meet the Author•

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn't writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN'S GAME is her first novel. 


Purchase Crown's Fate:
 Indiebound   •  Amazon  •  Barnes & Noble  •  Book Depository

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Learn to make
Russian Vatrushka
Russian Vatrushka are sweet filled buns that are just so, so yummy. They are easy to make...time consuming, but easy. Just a lot of steps and they have to proof, not once...not twice...but three times. But, guys,...SO worth the work and the wait. 
Here we go:

You will need: 
For buns:
• 1 cup warm milk 
• 1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
• 4 tbsp granulated sugar
• 3-1/4 cups all purpose flour 
• 1 egg at room temperature
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
• 1/2 tsp salt
For cherry filling:
• 1 lb fresh or frozen cherries 
• 1/4 granulated sugar
For cream cheese filling:
• 8 oz cream cheese
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla
For crumb topping:
• 4 tbsp butter
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
• 1/2 cup flour

Let's begin!
~Pour the warm milk (not hot! You don't want to kill the yeast) into the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast. 
~Whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour and 2 tbsps of the sugar until blended. 
~Let rise in a 100° oven for 20 minutes 

~Remove from oven and whisk in 1 egg, 2 tbsp sugar, the melted butter, and the salt. 
~Using a dough hook on your electric mixer, add the remaining flour one cup at a time. Stop adding flour when the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl, even if not all of the flour is added!).  Once the dough no longer sticks to the walls, mix the dough with the dough hook on low speed for 15 minutes. 
~Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and return to the 100° oven to rise for an hour. It should puff up to triple in size.

♦While the dough is proofing, prepare the cheese filling: in a small bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla together until smooth. Set aside. If using frozen cherries, but sure to thaw them. 

~When proofed, turn out the dough onto a non-stick, floured surface. Cut it in half, then in half again, and then again, etc..until your have 16 small balls of dough. 
~Butter a baking pan or cast iron pan (I used cast iron for this). Place the balls of dough evenly spaced in the pan. Using the bottom of a 1/4 measuring cup or a large spoon, press a well into each ball of dough. It is fine if they touch in the pan. :) 
~In each well, put a small amount of cream cheese filling and top with cherries.  Sprinkle a general amount of sugar over cherries. 
~One last proof! Place the filled buns into the 100° oven for 20 minutes. They will look nice and light and puffy. 

~For the crumb mixture, in a small bowl combine cold butter, both sugars, and flour. Cut together with a pastry cutter or your fingers until you get a good crumbly looking mixture.
~In a small bowl, whisk an egg for egg wash. Brush egg wash over each bun. 
~Sprinkle generously with the crumb topping.
~Bake at 360° for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Guys, you'll want to eat these right out of the oven. They are best that way. ;) Seriously, this is what happened about 3 seconds after I took the above picture:
NO regrets. ;P

*recipe altered slightly from Natasha's Kitchen

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Open internationally!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to stop by the rest of the awesome sites on the blog tour!
Week 1

May 8th: Bookish Lifestyles - Review + Tote Design
May 9th: Brittany's Book Rambles - Interview
May 10th: Alexa Loves Books - Author Guest Post
May 11th: It Start at Midnight - Mini Review + Fancast
May 12th: The Book Buzz - Review 

Week 2

May 15th: The YA Book Traveler - Trailer + Interview
May 16th: Lost in Literature - Review 
May 17th: Stories and Sweeties - Recipe
May 18thMy Friends Are Fiction - Review + Author Guest Post
May 19th: Paper Fury - Review 


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