VIRGINIA THIS MORNING: Author Joanne Fluke

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -

Joanne Fluke is an author who specializes in ‘Culinary Mystery.’  Her stories are often wrapped around delicious recipes.  Her new book, ‘Red Velvet Cupcake Murder’ is the 16th novel in her Hannah Swensen series.  She shared her Pineapple Coconut Whippersnapper recipe with us.

You have the chance to meet Joanne Fluke on Tuesday, March 19at 6:30pm at Fountain Book Store.

PINEAPPLE COCONUT

WHIPPERSNAPPER COOKIES

Do not preheat your oven quite yet—your mixing bowl and spoon must chill before mixing this cookie dough.

8-ounce can of crushed pineapple

1 box yellow cake mix (the kind that makes a 9-inch by 13-inch cake)

1 large egg, beaten (just whip it up in a glass with afork)

2 cups of original Cool Whip (not low-fat Cool Whip)

1 cup (8 ounces) sweetened coconut flakes 1⁄2 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar (for rolling the cookies)

15 to 18 maraschino cherries cut in half lengthwise

30 minutes before you’re ready to bake, stick a teaspoon from your silverware drawer in a large freezer-safe mixing bowl. Stick the bowl with the spoon in the freezer to chill.

Open the 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple and empty it in a small strainer. Occasionally, use the back of a tablespoon from your spoon drawer to press down on the top of the crushed pineapple in the strainer to speed up the draining time.

After 30 minutes have passed, empty the drained pineapple out onto a couple of paper towels and blot it gently to remove any remaining moisture.

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

Either spray a cookie sheet with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray, or line it with parchment paper and then spray that. Remove the large mixing bowl from the freezer, but leave the spoon in.

Pour approximately half of the yellow cake mix into your bowl.

Add the beaten egg and stir it in. Add the drained pineapple and mix it in. Sprinkle the rest of the yellow cake mix on top. Add the Cool Whip and the coconut. Stir everything together until it’s well mixed.

Place the half-cup of powdered sugar in a shallow bowl.

Then take the spoon out of the freezer.

There are two ways to form dough balls with this sticky cookie dough. One is to scoop out dough with the chilled spoon and place it in the bowl of powdered sugar, rolling it around with your fingers until it forms a small ball. The other, easier way is to dust your hands with powdered sugar,

pinch off a small amount of dough, place it in the bowl of powdered sugar and shape it into a ball with your fingers.

Use your favorite method (you may want to try both tosee which one works best for you) to form 12 dough balls for each cookie sheet.

If you don’t have double ovens, place the remaining cookie dough in the refrigerator to wait until you have room to bake a second sheet of cookies. If you forget to do this and leave it on the counter, it will be even stickier!

Place one-half of a maraschino cherry, cut side down, on top of each cookie ball on the sheet. Flatten the balls just a bit by pressing down on the cherry halves.

Bake your Pineapple Coconut Whippersnapper Cookies at 350 degrees F., for 15 minutes.

Remove your cookies from the oven and let them cool for 2 minutes on a cold stovetop burner or a wire rack. When 2 minutes have passed, remove the cookies from the sheet with a metal spatula and place them on the wire rack to complete cooling. If you used the parchment paper, this is simple. Simply pull the paper off of the cookie sheet and onto the wire rack. The cookies can stay on the paper until they’re cool.

 

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