The main protagonist, Hannah Swensen, owns and operates a bakery in the small town of Lake Eden, Minnesota. Throughout the Hannah Swensen mystery series, recipes for cookies (mostly) and other baked goods are provided as her character bakes them in the storyline.
I found this book using the Overdrive Media app. If you aren't familiar with it, it lets you borrow digital titles from your local library. Once your book is downloaded, it is stored temporarily on the app for 3 weeks. Once you read the book, you click return/delete and then *POOF* a virtual trip to the library is completed!
Now let's talk toppings. The original recipe calls for rolling the cookies in sugar prior to baking. I have tried this method, it encases the cookies in a crunchy sugary layer. This time I opted to roll just the topside in sugar. If you have coarse sugar, this works best. So, that's option number 1.
Remember those candy coated fennel seeds I mentioned in my Blueberry Chai Banana Bread post? I put them to good use here...option number 2. The subtle orange flavor in the cookies pairs well with the fennel seeds. If you think you don't like fennel seeds, I fear you haven't given them a chance. Fennel is the main spice used in many sausage links. People confuse it with anise; anise has a strong licorice flavor, fennel isn't as licorice-y, it's more subtle...a taste of it's own. I would encourage you to try fennel in a sweet recipe, it might surprise you.
Finally, who doesn't love chocolate on or in cookies? Therefore, option number 3, chocolate chips! Need I say more?
The cookies bake until just golden on the bottom, they almost look like they aren't quite baked enough. The top cookie (shown above) was baked at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. The other two cookies were left in for just a few extra minutes, 17 minutes. They were all chewy and soft, begging to be eaten with a glass of cold milk.
So we did just that.
As I usually do, I halved the original recipe; this made 18, 4-inch cookies (approximately 2 TBS of cookie dough per cookie). A few changes were made:
- I used 2 tsp of orange zest, instead of lemon zest
- I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- I substituted fresh orange juice for the cream of tartar (mine was no good, too old and solidified)
To view the original recipe on Joanne Fluke's website click here.
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