Joanne Fluke's 'Cinnamon Roll Murder'

12:00 PM, Mar 19, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.--  Joanne Fluke is the USA TODAY and New York Times bestselling author of culinary mysteries featuring Minnesota bake shop owner Hannah Swensen and her delicious original recipes.

Fluke's Hannah Swensen mystery series debuted eleven years ago with Chocolate Chip Cookie Muder and has become widely popular for its recipes, comedy, and unexpected endings. In her latest novel, Cinnamon Roll Murder, Fluke gives readers a springtime mystery with 22 of "Hannah's" original recipes interspersed throughout, including Butterama Cake with Brown Butter Icing, Sinco de Cocoa Cookies (chocolate avocado), Janet's Texas Jalapeno Pimento Cheese, Apple Cinnamon Whippersnappers, Peaches and Cream Cookies, and of course, Special Cinnamon Rolls.

Joanne dropped by our KARE 11 Kitchen this morning to share her recipe for Apple Cinnamon Whippersnappers.

Joanne is hosting a book signing tonight, March 19, at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Edina.

For more information about Joanne and her books, visit


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

For the Cookies:
1 large egg
2 cups Cool Whip (measure this - Andrea said her
tub of Cool Whip contained a little over 3 cups.)
1/3 cup apple pie filling (Andrea uses Comstock)
1 package (approximately 18 ounces) spice cake mix
(Andrea used Betty Crocker)

For Rolling Cookie Balls:
1/2 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Prepare your cookie sheets by spraying them with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray, or lining them with parchment paper, which you then spray with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray.

First of all, chill 2 teaspoons from your silverware drawer by sticking them in the freezer. You want them really icy cold. This will make it lot easier to form the cookies after the dough is mixed.

Whisk the egg in a large mixing bowl. Measure out 2 cups of Cool Whip and stir them into the egg.

Place the 1/3 cup of apple pie filling in a small bowl. Cut the apples with a sharp knife until they're in quarter-inch pieces. (The object here is to make small enough pieces so that you'll get some apple in every cookie.)

Add the apples to the mixing bowl and stir them in by hand. Mix very gently and don't over-stir. You don't want to stir all the air out of the Cool Whip.

Sprinkle the cake mix over the top of your mixing bowl. Fold it in very gently, mixing only until everything is combined. The object here is to keep as much air in the cookie batter as possible. Place the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a separate small
bowl (you don't have to sift it unless it's got big lumps).

Add the cinnamon to the bowl and stir it all up with a fork. Mix until the cinnamon is thoroughly combined with the sugar.  Drop the cookie dough by chilled and rounded teaspoonfuls into the bowl of powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the cookie dough ball around in the bowl with your fingers to coat it on all sides. Hannah's 1st Note: Roll only one cookie dough ball at a time. If you roll too many, they'll stick together and you'll have a real mess. This dough is very sticky, so you must keep your fingers coated with the sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Hannah's 2nd Note: If you're really having trouble with the sticky dough, refrigerate your mixing bowl and dough for one hour. Then take it out and try it again. If you do this, don't forget to turn off your oven. You can preheat it again a few minutes before you take the cookie dough out of the refrigerator.

Place each coated cookie dough ball on the cookie
sheets you've prepared, 12 cookies to each standard-size

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes,
or until they are firm to the touch when tapped very lightly
on the top with a fingertip.

When the cookies have baked, take them out of the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Hannah's 3rd Note: If you used parchment paper, all you have to do is wait 2 minutes and then pull the whole sheet onto a wire cooling rack. Just leave the Apple Cinnamon whippersnappers on the parchment paper until they're cool, and then simply peel them off.  Yield: 3 to 4 dozen delicious cookies, depending on cookie size.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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