Mysteries and Maple Syrup

I’ve been reading this series of mystery books and it features a lady who has a little bakery called The Cookie Jar. I don’t know why I keep reading them. She lives in a town of 3,000 people, there’s a murder every few months and she finds the body every single time. Why is no one investigating her? Well, her brother-in-law is the sheriff and one of her two boyfriends is a detective with the SO. The other boyfriend is a dentist and he’s a way better choice. There’s 30 books in the series (something like that) and I’m on book 11. They’re addictive in  that “they’ve got to get better” type of way. But I’m getting off topic. Every book has lots of recipes. Most are cookies and other sweet things since she owns a bakery but sometimes there are other dishes as well, depending on the topic of the book. I’m avoiding the hotdish recipes (takes place in Minnesota). There was one cookie that sounded really good. It’s called a Short Stack Cookie and is supposed to taste exactly like a pancake slathered in butter and maple syrup. Sounds delicious. So I made a batch. They tasted nothing like pancakes. The recipe has a half-cup of maple syrup but you just couldn’t taste it. I’m no maple syrup gourmet, I bought some Kroger organic 100% maple syrup but it should be OK. They weren’t bad, they tasted like a very buttery sugar cookie. But I was looking for pancake flavor.

Most of her recipes aren’t original so I looked online to see if I could find anything similar. The only recipes I found called Short Stack Cookies were from this book. I learned sometime interesting. I checked out the ebook from the library and the recipe calls for two teaspoons of baking soda. Apparently in the print version it called for four teaspoons and several people had that version and said all they could taste was baking soda. I imagine. I also tried just looking up pancake cookies and got pages of recipes that use pancake mix as the base. That might be interesting.

So I found one blog where the writer didn’t have any luck making them (four teaspoons of baking soda plus they flattened out to the point she had to scrape them off the cookie sheet) but people in the comments had some suggestions. I decided to try it again and add maple extract and swap half the white sugar for brown. So I made those today. I halved the recipe because the original makes 60 cookies and we didn’t need quite that many.

Again, good but not what I was hoping for. The recipe says to bake for 10-12 minutes. The first batch I baked for 10 and they came out perfect. I baked the first sheet of today’s version for 10 minutes and they were still a little gooey in the middle. I bumped the next tray up to 12 minutes and they were perfectly baked all the way through. The raw dough tasted like maple (I sampled it). I baked the cookies and they came out tasting like a sugar cookie with brown sugar. No maple. I took one back to Heath. After first he said he could taste a little hint of maple but mostly just sugar. Then about halfway through the cookie he said got one bite that tasted like a pancake with maple syrup. He must have gotten the one bite in the whole batch that tasted right. I think I prefer the version with all white sugar. I’ll have to try that with maple extract. But not right now, we have too many cookies in the house as it is.

Here is the recipe and a few notes of mine at the bottom.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups melted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar — for coating the dough balls

 

Directions

  1. DO NOT preheat oven- dough must chill before baking
  2. Melt the butter and mix in the sugar. Let it cool and add the beaten eggs. Add maple syrup, soda, salt, and vanilla. Mix it all up. Then add the flour and mix thoroughly.
  3. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour (overnight is fine, too).
  4. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls with your hands. Roll the balls in white sugar and place them on greased cookie sheets, 12 to a standard sheet. Flatten them with a spatula.
  5. Put oven rack in the middle position. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool on the cookie sheets for no more than 1 minute, then remove the cookies to the rack to finish cooling. (If you leave them on the cookie sheets for too long, they’ll stick.

Do no refrigerate overnight. The dough comes out hard as a rock and you have to wait for it to warm up some. The second batch I refrigerated for about an hour and a half and it was perfect.

I didn’t flatten them. They spread naturally and were just fine.

I also let them cool on the cookie sheet and they didn’t stick at all. I used parchment paper but I don’t see how anything with that much butter can stick to anything, especially if you don’t squish it before baking. The first batch I rolled in sugar, the second I didn’t and it didn’t make any difference, either way.

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