You Are What You Eat…and Read, 2.0! Ate by Ate’s Favourite Foodie Murder Mysteries & Other Novels

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The Donut Shop Mysteries by Jessica Beck!

This past week I made a startling discovery: I am THISCLOSE to running out of precious real estate on my bookshelf.  Translation?  I’m going to have to figure out, in Sheldon Cooper’s words, “a new organizational paradigm” or stop buying books.

Yeah, that’s not an option.  New organizational paradigm it is.

I know this won’t be easy but there’s just no other way around this snafu.  I love books too much to stop buying them.  I just bought 5 Nancy Drews yesterday from a used book sale to add to my collection for goodness sake.  And I know off the top of my head there will be 3 new books coming out this year for a few of my favourite series.  Not to mention there are plenty of books that I haven’t gotten around to buying yet (and series that I haven’t even gotten around to reading/starting/collecting yet, like the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle or the Orchard Mysteries by Sheila Connolly) because I believe in pacing myself.  So before anyone says, “oh, well, that’s easy, just get a kindle/kobo/e-reader/whatever other tablet device that’s available out there and you won’t run out of space” I should warn you that if you dare to utter anything even remotely close to that sentence I will chase you down with a wooden spoon.  I don’t do e-readers.  End of story.

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So, how did this mini bout of panic over bookshelf space come about in the first place?  After posting the recipe for the Twin Chocolate Delights cookies from Joanne Fluke’s Blueberry Muffin Murder last Friday and tweeting about the first book of the series being made into a tv movie (I was so excited that I squealed after finding out about this), I received a very enthusiastic response from friends who were really intrigued by the foodie murder mystery genre.  Being the aficionado that I am, I started yammering about how much I loved the series and mentioned how I read and followed a number of other foodie murder mystery series.  Well, that just opened up a can of worms: “There are other series?!” and “Wait, this [genre] is a thing?!”  I haven’t posted about my love for the foodie murder mystery genre in a long time so it’s understandable folks may not have seen those posts.  So I took inventory of my growing collection and took brand new photos to show you all.  And that is when I realized I really needed to reevaluate things!  I am queen of organization and squish though so I have no doubt I’ll come up with a solution to remedy the situation.

Here is my book collection in all its glory and may new ones find a comfy space on my bookshelf in my soon-to-be new “organizational paradigm”.

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I love the Donut Shop Mysteries by Jessica Beck but unfortunately, my collection has to stop at 9 because if I’m not mistaken, the series went exclusively digital from the 10th book onward and are now only published as e-books.  This makes me sad, sigh.  Anyway, below you will see:

  • the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries by Jenn McKinlay
  • the Cookie Cutter Shop Mysteries by Virginia Lowell
  • the Ice Cream Shop/Mystery a La Mode Mysteries by Wendy Lyn Watson
  • the Magical Bakery Mysteries by Bailey Cates
  • the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries by Victoria Hamilton
  • the Fresh Baked Mysteries by Livia J. Washburn
  • the Pizza Shop/Lovers Mysteries by Chris Cavender
  • the Lucy Stone Mysteries by Leslie Meier (the series isn’t a foodie one but there are a number that are food-themed, like this one!)
  • and while the Icing on the Cupcake and the Christmas Cookie Club aren’t mysteries, they are food-themed and they are wonderful novels that I adore to itty bitty pieces and I highly recommend both if you love food as much as I do.
  • And finally, my beloved Hannah Swensen Mysteries collection by Joanne Fluke!  This is, hands down, my favourite foodie murder mystery series and one of my all-time favourite book series in general which is saying a lot because I am a die-hard Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley, and Nancy Drew fan!  I love these books like crazy and I get so excited every time a new one is released.  I am waiting with baited breath for the latest one, Blackberry Pie Murder, to be released in paperback at the end of the month and for the newest one in the series, Double Fudge Brownie Murder, to come out next month in February!

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Just When You Thought You Couldn’t Love Chocolate More – A Recipe for Twin Chocolate Delights Cookies!

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I made the closest men in my life (my boyfriend, my brother, and my dad) very happy this past week.  I didn’t buy them presents.  Or give them money.  No, I baked and gave them cookies.  Double chocolate ones.  6 dozen of them on a total of 5 pans.  And it’s unanimous: out of all the recipes I’ve tried so far, this is their favourite cookie of all-time.  And I have to say, I freakin’ love these cookies myself.  They are heavenly.  But their love of chocolate borders on obsession (or addiction; it’s really almost the same thing in this context) baffles me.  I enjoy chocolate as much as the next person, but their addiction to chocolate is just on a whole other level.  I watch guys eat chocolate and it’s like they’re eating their last meal on earth.  My brother will excitedly chant, “chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!” when I simply mention something about chocolate.  And I once scolded my boyfriend for eating too many chocolate chip pancakes because he wouldn’t stop moaning and groaning about how full he was from his chocolate chip pancake breakfast.  “Well why did you eat so many?!  Why didn’t you just stop at two??”  “They were so good…”  Cue deadpan expression.

Anyway, I made brown sugar shortbread over the holidays and while I will admit that they were just so-so (it needed a little finesse and a part 2 experiment), I ate my share while the boys just sniffed at them.  Sigh.  “Fine,” I said.  “I’ll make you guys double chocolate cookies next time.  Sound good?”  Eager bobblehead nods.

Boys.

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You don’t have to be a crazy chocolate addict to love these cookies though.  These epitomize cookie perfection in so many ways: they’re crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, the cracking on the outside is beautiful, the recipe doesn’t require a mixer, you can easily substitute the chocolate chips for other mix-ins such as chopped nuts, candies, or dried fruit, the recipe yields a very generous amount making them a perfect option for parties and cookie swaps, they freeze well, and they’re a cinch to make.  And did I mention they’re double chocolate and fudgy as heck?  WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?!  I thank another one of my beloved Joanne Fluke Hannah Swensen foodie murder mysteries for this amazing cookie recipe, courtesy of Blueberry Muffin Murder, the 3rd book from the series.

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Recipe for Twin Chocolate Delights (yields approx. 6 dozen/72 medium-sized cookies)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (no need to sift)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (*Deb’s Note: I didn’t use nuts so I simply substituted with extra chocolate chips)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

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Directions

  • Line several baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. (The dough needs to chill in the fridge so there’s no preheating of the oven at this point).
  • Melt butter in large microwave-safe bowl.  Add the sugar and mix. (*Deb’s Note: I just used a spatula for this step as well as for the rest of the recipe).
  • Add the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and stir until smooth.
  • Add the beaten eggs and stir thoroughly.
  • Mix in the flour, nuts (if you’re using them), and chocolate chips (*Deb’s Note: using the spatula, I gently folded the flour in until it was incorporated.  Then I used my hands (freshly washed hands!) to mix in the chocolate chips.)
  • Cover bowl with a piece of plastic wrap; chill cookie dough in refrigerator for about 30 minutes (*Deb’s Note: I added this step because the dough was still a bit too gummy to handle)
  • Place rounded teaspoons of dough on baking sheets, 12 to a standard sheet (*Deb’s Note: I used my hands to grab mounds of dough, gently shaping them into small rounds.  As well, I fit 15 on the first 4 pans and 12 on the last one.)
  • Heat oven to 350°F.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely (*Deb’s Note: this allows you to use the same pans for multiple rounds of cookies.  Two pans are enough.  I know because that’s what I did – I don’t actually have 5 baking pans at home!  While the first pan is in the oven, you work on shaping the dough balls for the 2nd pan.  When the first pan comes out and the 2nd goes in, there’s enough time between taking the cookies off the pan and re-filling with another batch for the pan to cool down enough to not cause your raw dough to start melting/spreading.)

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*****

Recipe adapted from Joanne Fluke’s Blueberry Muffin Murder.  New York: Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2002.  Photographs taken by me.  The recipe can be found on pages 136-137.

There’s No Such Thing As Too Many Cookies – Almond Kisses Cookie Bliss From Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen Mystery Series

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Almonds and chocolate and sprinkles, oh my!  I had myself a fun and relaxing cookie baking and decorating party recently (if you consider running back and forth from the oven to the kitchen table with 4 baking sheets of cookies relaxing!), testing out a recipe for Almond Kisses from Joanne Fluke’s Lemon Meringue Pie Murder from the Hannah Swensen foodie murder mystery series (if you don’t know about these books and how much I love this series, you need to jump on the bandwagon, PRONTO!).

I love baking out of these books so much and it had been awhile since the last time I tried out something new from one of them so I jumped on the opportunity one Saturday morning to make these amazing almond cookies.  The original recipe uses Hershey’s Kisses for the cookie middles but unfortunately, I didn’t have any of my favourite cookies ‘n cream ones or the yummy milk and white chocolate swirly ones so I settled on testing out the base almond cookie recipe first and jazzing up a batch with chocolate chips mixed in and another batch dipped in melted chocolate and sprinkled with sprinkles!

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I had the best time making these cookies and they turned out perfect!  And oh  my goodness they taste fantastically delicious.  Trust me when I say that they test the most delicious straight out of the oven.  I know you have to let them cool to dip them in chocolate if you want to follow my lead, but I really just mean within the first day or so.  They taste totally fine even a week after (providing you store them in a sealed container of course), but to really get the full food orgasmic effect, you need to taste them soon after they’re baked because they are just divine.  Like marzipan on cloud nine.  This is the type of recipe that can spawn 10 others simply because it’s so simple and versatile.  You can mix in chocolate chips (regular, white, butterscotch, whatever you like!), small sprinkles and shredded coconut, dip them in melted chocolate, or glaze them.  Or just leave them plain.

I was beaming with pride looking at all my cookies when I had the most bizarre and ridiculous exchange with my dad though.  Me: *wearing oven mitts, beaming* “Look how cute these cookies turned out!  They’re sooo good!”  Dad: “You didn’t make enough cookies.”  Me: “What do you mean I didn’t make enough cookies?!  I made 54!  Well, 52.  Dan and I just ate one each.”  Dad: “Yeah, but you’re giving away two dozen.”  Me: “Which leaves us with 28 still!”  Dad: “Exactly.  That’s not enough.”

I was so offended.  Hmph.  IT’S NOT MY FAULT THEY’RE SO YUMMY THEY DISAPPEAR LIKE CRAZY!

Anyway.

This is a must-try recipe, everyone, enjoy!

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Recipe for Almond Kisses (yields approx. 4 dozen small cookies)

Ingredients (*Deb’s Note: the recipe below was actually cut in half.  The original recipe uses double the amounts)

  • 3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (*Deb’s Note: if you prefer to follow the original recipe’s ingredient list, substitute the brown sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses and increase the granulated sugar to 1 cup.  If you wish to follow the original recipe in its entirety, double the ingredients.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • your choice of add-in should you wish to use it!

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Directions

  • Heat oven to 350°F (*Deb’s Note: because my oven runs hot, I lowered mine to 325°F).  
  • Melt butter in microwave in mixing bowl.  Add sugars, vanilla extract and almond extract (Deb’s Note: if you are not using brown sugar and instead using molasses (see note in ingredient list), add the molasses after the adding the almond extract); mix with electric mixer until blended.  Add baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix well.  Add ground almonds; mix well.
  • Pour in beaten egg; mix until blended.  Add flour, 1 cup at a time; mix until just blended after each addition.  (Do not over mix).  (*Deb’s Note: If you are using add-ins like chocolate chips, add them after adding and mixing in the flour.  Mix them in gently with your hands so you’re not overworking the dough.)
  • Chill cookie dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Roll dough into small, walnut-sized balls.  Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 15 dough balls to a sheet.  Flatten dough balls slightly using the palm of your hand.  Use the tines on a fork to make an indentation if you wish to jazz up the tops.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes (Deb’s Note: I baked mine for 8 minutes).  Cool on baking sheets for several minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Proceed to stuff your face with delicious fresh baked cookies.  Go the extra step and decorate using melted chocolate and sprinkles – like me!  Rinse and repeat.

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*****

Recipe adapted from Joanne Fluke’s Lemon Meringue Pie Murder.  New York: Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2003.  Photographs taken by me.  The recipe can be found on page 55.

A Tropical Party Kind of Cookie – Chewy Coconut Oatmeal Pineapple Delights

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I’m starting to see a trend with the cookies I’ve been baking – many of them have oatmeal in them!  This is highly amusing to me considering that I’m not the biggest fan of cooked oatmeal.  My parents love it but it’s one of those foods that has never really grown on me.  I’ll eat it, but I won’t love it.  So I don’t know if I’ve been receiving subliminal messages somewhere or if I naturally gravitate towards oatmeal as an ingredient in cookies, but I love the texture it creates in cookies, both chewy ones and crunchy ones.  These, my lovelies, are Pineapple Delights from Joanne Fluke’s Key Lime Pie Murder!  Chewy cookies with dried pineapple, shredded coconut (or coconut flakes), and oatmeal!  I mentioned these in my last Cookie Jar post when I blogged about the delicious recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies and between the two, I did enjoy enjoy the banana chocolate chip ones more initially. 

However, I soon realized what the problem was: the pineapple delights get better with age.  I’ve been noticing that with several different kinds of food over the past little while and the concept feels so foreign to me!  Since when do cookies (and any other food) not taste great fresh out of the oven?!  It’s true though, these pineapple delights are better enjoyed the day after.  And the day after that.  And so on and so forth.  My family and I were enjoying these cookies at their yummiest a WEEK after we baked them!  I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.  So don’t touch that cookie jar until the next day.  I know it’ll be incredibly hard. Wrap your hands with something if you need to.  It’s worth the wait.

Recipe for Pineapple Delights (yields about 4 dozen medium sized cookies when recipe is halved)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter, melted (4 sticks, 1 pound)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pineapple extract (or you could use vanilla extract)
  • 4 cups flour (*Deb’s note: I used regular all-purpose flour)
  • 2⅟₂cups chopped sweetened dried pineapple (measure after chopping; you can substitute the dried pineapple with any other dried fruit to change up the recipe!)
  • 3 cups rolled oats (uncooked oatmeal)
  • ⅟₂cup chopped coconut flakes (*Deb’s note: I used shredded coconut)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F, rack in the middle position.
  • Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl.  Add the sugars, mix until well incorporated, and let the bowl cool a bit. 
  • Add the beaten eggs, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pineapple extract.  (*Deb’s note: Since I didn’t have pineapple extract, I used vanilla extract.  If you’re doing the same, add a little more chopped dried pineapple to the mixture.  I think pineapple juice would enhance the flavour as well, but you would need to add a bit more flour or oatmeal to thicken the dough up).
  • Mix in the flour.  Then add the chopped pineapple, coconut, and rolled oats, mixing them in thoroughly.
  • Drop by teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a sheet.  (*Deb’s note: I rolled my dough into balls using my hands.  The cookies turned out larger than I expected them to, so if you use the rolling method, make them a bit smaller because the dough spreads when they’re baking).
  • Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes.  (*Deb’s note: if you want them chewier, bake them for 12 minutes.  If your oven runs a bit hot like mine, do them for 11 minutes).  Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

These cookies freeze well if you roll them in foil and put them in a freezer bag.

*****

Recipe taken from Joanne Fluke’s Key Lime Pie Murder.  New York: Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2007.  Photographs taken by me.  The recipe can be found on page 32.

Sunny Sunday Weekend Baking – Cranberry Oatmeal Crunch Cookies!

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Happy Sunday everyone!  I’ve been itching to bake more cookies for ages now (I haven’t baked since Easter!), so in honour of my mum’s birthday today I baked cookies using one of my mum’s favourite foods – oatmeal!  I love using the recipes from my favourite foodie murder mystery series by Joanne Fluke and I’m hoping that I can bake my way through the entire series, cookie wise anyway.  I’ve baked and posted recipes and photos for three kinds of cookies on the blog so far including this one and I can’t wait to go through all my books and bookmark recipes I want to try next. 

I took this recipe from Joanne Fluke’s Cream Puff Murder and while the original recipe called for dried blueberries for blueberry crunch cookies, I tweaked it and used dried cranberries instead and halved the recipe so that I would have closer to three dozen as opposed to six dozen.  I would have followed the recipe and used dried blueberries, but by golly are dried blueberries ever expensive!  I wasn’t willing to pay an arm and a leg for them, even in bulk, so I opted for dried cranberries sweetened with strawberries.  The result was amazing crunchy cookies with rich flavour and fruity sweetness.

If you can find already ground oatmeal, it’ll save you a bit of time and arm muscle, but I could only find regular cooking oats at the bulk so I ground the oatmeal myself.  Obviously using a food processor is the easiest way to go about grinding the oats, but since I don’t have a food processor and didn’t want to make a mess out of my blender, I ground them by hand.  How, you ask?  I left the oats in the plastic bag I bought them in, used the back of a butcher knife, and pounded the oats until they were the consistency and texture of thick sand.  It was a damn good arm workout, ha!  It was so worth it though because the cookies turned out great.

 

Recipe for Blueberry Crunch Cookies (yields 6 dozen cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks, 1/2 a pound)
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⅟₂teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (just whip them up with a fork)
  • 2⅟₂cups flour (no need to sift – pack it down when you measure it)
  • 1 cup dried sweetened blueberries (other dried fruit will also work if blueberry-sized or cut to blueberry size)
  • 2 cups GROUND dry oatmeal (measure before grinding)

Note: mixing this dough is much easier with an electric mixer, but you can also do it by hand.  I stirred by hand for the first two steps and used an electric mixer to incorporate the eggs and flour.  I then mixed the cranberries and ground oatmeal into the dough afterward by hand.

Directions:

  • Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute on HIGH.  Add the sugar and mix it in thoroughly.
  • Add the vanilla, salt, and the baking soda.  Mix it in well.
  • When the mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the beaten eggs.  When they are fully incorporated, add the flour in half-cup increments, stirring after each addition.
  • Mix in the dried blueberries (**Deb’s note: or in my case, cranberries).
  • Prepare your oatmeal.  Measure out two cups and place them in the food processor or blender, chopping with the steel blade until the oatmeal is the consistency of coarse sand. (**Deb’s note: like I mentioned before, I ground the oatmeal by hand, pounding on the bag of oats using the back of a butcher knife.  Works the same way and you get great arm exercise!).
  • Add the ground oatmeal to your bowl, and mix it in thoroughly.  The resulting dough will be quite stiff.
  • Roll walnut-sized dough balls with your hands, and place them on a greased cookie sheet (12 balls to a standard-size sheet (**Deb’s note: I was able to fit 15 dough balls comfortably on mine).  (If the dough is too sticky to roll, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and try again).  Squish the dough balls down a bit to prevent them from rolling off the cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, and then remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

I absolutely love the cranberries in these cookies and I think using dried apricots would be great for this recipe too.  The perfect sized cookies to tote along on a picnic or for a breakfast treat or mid-morning snack.  Happy baking everyone!

*****

Recipe taken from Joanne Fluke’s Cream Puff Murder.  New York: Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2009.  Photographs taken by me.  The recipe can be found on page 197.  The original recipe is titled Blueberry Crunch Cookies.

Bunnies and Easter Sunday Baking! Terry’s Carrot Cake Cookies

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It’s Easter Sunday!  I don’t celebrate in any type of religious way, but I’m all sorts of giddy over the pastels, bunnies, chocolate, and all-around cuteness!  Like I promised last night, I have a baked cookie treat for you guys today: CARROT CAKE COOKIES!!  😀  As soon as I saw the recipe in my foodie murder mystery, Cream Puff Murder, I knew I had to bake these and I knew I wanted to bake them for Easter weekend.  I adore carrot cake and thought it had to be awesome in cookie form.  I had a lot of the ingredients on hand already (cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut, etc.) so there wasn’t too much I had to go out and specifically buy for the cookies. 

When I think of Easter and spring I think of marshmallows, chocolates, pastel jelly beans, and carrots (you know, with the bunnies and all), so I figured anything related to those yummies would work.  And I’m really excited to share the recipe and photos for this time because the last time I baked cookies (before these ones but after the mocha butterballs) I had to chuck half the batch and couldn’t get photos to show you all; until I can tinker with the recipe again and make it work, it ain’t getting published!

The cookie dough for these smelled SO amazingly good.  With the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, golden raisins, apple sauce, and crushed pineapple, our big mixing bowl of cookie dough smelled like a fruity cinnamon bun *closes eyes and mentally floats on a heavenly cloud*  The dough needs time to chill (I chilled mine overnight), but it’s so worth it because they turned out great and YES, they taste like delicious carrot cake!  I gotta say, the golden raisins, crushed pineapple, and cinnamon and nutmeg MAKE this recipe and I’m really happy with how they turned out.  YAY!

Recipe for Terry’s Carrot Cake Cookies (yields 10 dozen small cookies)

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup, 1/2 pound) at room temperature
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (**Deb’s note: I used the little cups of Mott’s Fruitsations)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg (**Deb’s note: I used ground nutmeg from the bulk, it worked just fine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20-ounce can crushed pineapple (very well drained)
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (measure after chopping) (**Deb’s note: I’m not a fan of walnuts so I didn’t use them)
  • 3⅟₂cups flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
  • 1 cup coconut (shredded)
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots

**Deb’s note: there was no way I was going to bake 10 dozen, so I actually halved this recipe and it worked out just fine.  I know you can’t halve 3 eggs, so I used my judgment and whipped up two and all I had was 14-ounce can of crushed pineapple so I used about 3/4 of the can.  The cookies turned out great, so it’s safe to halve this recipe if you can’t manage baking 10 dozen!

Directions

  • Beat the butter, sugar, and eggs together until all 3 ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is smooth, fluffy, and light yellow in colour.
  • Pat off any excess liquid from the applesauce with a paper towel.  Add the applesauce to your bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Blend in the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Mix it well until the dough is smooth and is a uniform colour.
  • Drain the excess liquid from the crushed pineapple.  Using a wire mesh sieve, press the pineapple against the sieve to remove as much liquid as possible.  Mix in the pineapple, golden raisins, and chopped walnuts (if using).
  • Blend in the flour, a little bit at a time.  If you try to dump it all in at once, the mixer will beat and puff up a cloud of flour dust and make a mess out of the bowl and your kitchen counter!
  • Stir in the shredded coconut by hand.
  • Stir in the grated carrots by hand.  Mix well to make sure everything is distributed evenly and thorough incorporated.
  • Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

  • When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F, rack in middle position.
  • Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper and put 12 dough balls on each sheet.  You can use 2 spoons to scoop and drop the dough, a small icecream scoop, or your hands if you don’t mind getting your hands a bit messy.  Shape the dough into rounds.
  • Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes.  Leave the cookies on the cookie sheets for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool.

When they are cool enough, proceed to stuff your face.  I ate 3 cookies as soon as they were cool enough.  So soft, yet crunchy from the coconut, carrots, and raisins.  I love these cookies and I’m so happy they turned out well!  There’s actually a cream cheese frosting recipe that goes along with it, but all I had in the fridge was salmon and garden vegetable cream cheese (d’oh!), hardly what I would consider appropriate for cookies, ha!  Leave me a comment if you want the frosting recipe and enjoy the photos and the rest of your Easter weekend! 😀

*****

Recipe taken from Joanne Fluke’s Cream Puff Murder.  New York: Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2009.  Photograps taken by me.  The recipe can be found on page 139.  Terry refers to a character whom Hannah (the main character of the series) knows in the book.