Dead Week by Kelly Brakenhoff – Chocolate Haupia Pie + Giveaway

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Dead Week by Kelly Brakenhoff
A Cassandra Sato Mystery Book 2
Emerald Prairie Press • December 7, 2019
Will Dead Week kill Cassandra’s career?

VP of Student Affairs Cassandra Sato has a desk full of problems and it’s not even Thanksgiving break.

Cassandra’s new boss talks to her dead husband. Cassandra’s mentor thinks he’s a superhero in a senior citizen’s body. And Cassandra, recently moved from Hawai’i, can’t crack the code of what to wear during November in Nebraska.

Cassandra faces end of semester pranks, stray dogs, winter storms, and viral news stories in her fight for justice for a group of student activists. But that’s nothing compared to the wrath of a Helicopter Mom!

If you like academic cozy mysteries with funny BFFs, hilarious student shenanigans, and small town drama, you’ll like this series.

Goodreads | Amazon

Chocolate Haupia Pie

If you travel to Hawai’i, you’ll see a version of Haupia on any menu, whether at home or in popular restaurants. Lots of people make this pie with a plain coconut layer and a chocolate layer, but I just mix it all together to make one chocolate creamy pie. My other baking quirks are I use less sugar, and I’m too lazy to make homemade whipped cream. But who am I to stop you from using real sugar and whipping cream? You do you.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8 slices
Author: Kelly Brakenhoff


1 pie crust Regular 9 inch pre-made crust, OR 9 inch chocolate graham cracker crust are both delicious
3 ounces 72% cacao chocolate the darker, the better
14 ounce can coconut milk
1 1/2 cup milk whole is good, skim works too
2 tsp vanilla
5 Tbsp sugar (I use Stevia or Splenda)
6 tbsp cornstarch


1. If using a frozen or refrigerated pie crust, bake according to directions on the package.

2. Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl, and microwave in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Set aside.

3. Whisk together cornstarch and a few tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan whisk together coconut milk, milk, vanilla, and sugar until thoroughly combined and bring to a near boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in cornstarch slurry. Cook, whisking constantly about 5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Wisk in melted chocolate and cook over low for another 10 minutes.

4. Remove saucepan from heat. Pour pudding into prepared pie crust, using a spatula. Let cool uncovered on the counter for about 10 minutes. Top with defrosted frozen whipped topping, if desired.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set. Let it set for at least 1 hour but overnight is better. To serve, you can sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top of the whipped cream layer, or skip the whipped cream and sprinkle chocolate cookie crumbs or chocolate shavings on top. Enjoy!

About the Author

KELLY BRAKENHOFF is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends. Her first novel, Death by Dissertation, kicked off the Cassandra Sato Mystery Series. She also wrote Never Mind, first in a children’s picture book series featuring Duke the Deaf Dog. She serves on the Board of Editors for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf publication, VIEWs. The mother of four young adults and two dogs, Kelly and her husband call Nebraska home.

Her first mystery, Death by Dissertation, released April 22, 2019.

Author Links
Website –
Amazon –
Twitter –
Instagram – @kellybrak
BookBub –
GoodReads –

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