Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The rest of the story on the Almond Joy Muffins

(As if you couldn't tell, the above illustration is a screenshot of my Christmas breakfast Pinterest board.  It has loads of great ideas for that special breakfast or brunch.)

When sharing the recipe for my Almond Joy Muffins, I commented that it had been published in Simple & Delicious magazine under a slightly different name.  That was in the November/December 2006 issue.  If you happen to have it in your stash somewhere, you can find my recipe, re-titled Coconut Almond Muffins for, most likely, copyright reasons.

And if you have that issue and open it up, you will be seeing it as I saw it for the first time in print, completely surprised.  I had not realized that my recipe was about to be published -- and I first saw the magazine in Elko, Nevada, in October 2006.  We had traveled out by Amtrak to visit our newborn grandson, Darrin.

When we visit out there in the fall, my daughter often has a Christmas issue of a lovely magazine just waiting to greet me.  I'm guessing (though I don't remember clearly) that's how I happened to come into possession of this issue.  At any rate, as I leafed through it, I was astounded to see my own name in print, and my recipe, under an assumed name.  That was exciting, and my daughter enjoyed the fun surprise as well.

But there's more to the story!  Back in New Hampshire, in another part of the state, an old friend of mine with whom I had worked years ago at a Christian school was browsing through her new copy of Simple & Delicious.  The name "New Hampshire" in the address of a recipe contributor caught her eye.  She glanced further for the name of the town, thinking that it wouldn't be a town she was familiar with.  But it was!  She glanced further for the contributor's name, thinking, "It'll be someone I've never heard of.  It always is."

And it was my name!  That moved my friend, a few days later, to dig out my snail mail address and to write me a letter, telling me about the serendipitous finding of my recipe in her new magazine.  She also caught me up to date on her own life and family and encouraged me to get back in touch.  I did, though neither of us are the best correspondents and it's been a few years now since we've caught up with one another. 

Later I received my notification of the recipe being published, and a free copy of the magazine too.

That's a lot of fun from one recipe submitted to a magazine!  And the muffins are pretty tasty, too.


  1. From classes I took years ago, I learned that recipes cannot be copyrighted. Cooking is such a universal, common activity that it would be impossible to do. Sometimes, I see that very slight variations are made in recipes, but whether that is in a “noble” effort to not copy or is just a matter of taste after all. I try to “give credit where credit is due” as I know most bloggers do, but the fact is, there is no legal requirement to do so.

    All that and I find this: https://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2013/06/can-you-copyright-a-recipe.html

    I’d say that in general, unless dealing with celebrity chefs and bakers, that a recipe can not be copyrighted. They are simply too common and ubiquitous.

    These muffins sound delightful. I’d be tempted to use chopped up Needhams. 🙂

    1. That is good to know, Vee! I've never been sure about it, so I usually try to link to the original source unless I made significant changes in a recipe.

      What I was thinking of in this case (and should have specified) was the use of the trademarked name Almond Joy. Home cooks would have no problem titling a recipe this way, but a national magazine might be a little leery of it.

      The muffins are good, and chopping up Needhams to use instead of the Almond Joy is a great idea. Make it regional!

  2. What a wonderful story!

    1. It was fun watching this unfold. Who knew what would result from one simple recipe submission?

  3. How fun! that is wonderful

  4. I enjoyed your story


Thanks for visiting my Christmas kitchen! I love company here in my kitchen all year round, so please leave a comment so I'll know you visited. I will answer any questions and comments here on the blog, so be sure and check "notify me" to see replies. God bless your day!