Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook - novelonlinefull.com
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Measuring mola.s.ses will be easier if you spray your measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray before pouring it in.
If you don't like the taste of baking soda, you can subst.i.tute one teaspoon baking powder.
If you can't find key lime juice, you can use regular lime juice. Of course it's best if you squeeze it yourself.
Mother likes these with chopped walnuts. Andrea prefers pecans. I think they're best with hazelnuts. Tracey adores these when I subst.i.tute a cup of flaked coconut for the nuts and form the dough b.a.l.l.s around a small piece of a milk chocolate bar or a couple of milk chocolate chips.
I use 2 and teaspoons cinnamon and teaspoon cardamom when I want a deeper, richer flavor.
Some people have peanut allergies. If you plan to serve this to someone who does, subst.i.tute almond b.u.t.ter for the peanut b.u.t.ter. You could also subst.i.tute Nutella (a hazelnut chocolate b.u.t.ter) if you can find it in your area.
If you can't find red candied cherries, you can use well-drained maraschino cherries.
The orange zest adds a burst of flavor. Zest is finely grated orange peel, just the orange part, not the white. You can use a grater to grate the orange part of the peel, or a zester, which removes a thin layer of peel in strips. If you use a zester, you'll have to finely chop the strips of peel with a knife.
For a sweeter cookie, add cup white (granulated) sugar or roll dough b.a.l.l.s in sugar before baking. If you want a real treat, add 2 cups of milk chocolate chips to the dough.
To measure mola.s.ses, first spray the inside of a measuring cup with Pam so that the mola.s.ses won't stick to the sides of the cup.
To measure maple syrup, first spray the inside of the measuring cup with Pam so that the syrup won't stick.
Lindy uses white (and/or colored) granulated sugar for rolling the dough b.a.l.l.s. Lisa and I use powdered sugar down at The Cookie Jar so that we won't get the Spicy Dreams mixed up with the Mola.s.ses Crackles when we serve them on the same day.
If fresh strawberries are available, they'll be fine as a garnish in this recipe.
If I can't find Bridge Mix, I like to use Hershey's a.s.sorted miniature candy bars cut into four pieces. You can even use full-size chocolate candy bars if you cut them into small pieces.
Make sure you use real white chocolate chips, not vanilla chips. The real ones have cocoa b.u.t.ter listed in the ingredients. If you can't find them in your market, look for a block of white chocolate, one pound or a bit over, and cut it up in small pieces with a knife.
You can buy dates already chopped at the grocery store if you don't want to chop them yourself.
I used dried Bing cherries in one batch, and maraschino cherries in a second batch. People loved both batches, but all agreed that the ones with the dried cherries were chewier.
If you used cup white chocolate chips for the first ingredient in place of the 4 one-ounce squares of white chocolate, don't be confused. This half-cup of white chocolate chips is additional and will be used later in the recipe.
If this confuses you, read the section that's t.i.tled, "A Not So Scientific Study of Pan Size" following the Bar Cookie section.
You can find unsweetened baking cocoa in the baking aisle of your grocery store. Make sure you get an American brand. Some of the others are Dutch process and they won't work in this recipe. Also be careful not to get cocoa mix, the kind you'd use to make hot chocolate or chocolate milk.