Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.
1 and 1⁄2 cups softened butter (3 sticks, 3⁄4 pound, 12 ounces)
1 and 1⁄4 cups white (granulated) sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
2 and 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 and 1⁄2 cups finely crushed plain regular potato chips (measure AFTER crushing. I used Lay’s, put them in a plastic zip-lock bag, and crushed them with my hands)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Nestlé)
1⁄3 cup white (granulated) sugar for dipping
Hannah’s 1st Note: Use regular potato chips, the thin, salty ones. Don’t use baked chips, or rippled chips, or chips with the peels on, or kettle-fried, or flavored, or anything that’s supposed to be better for you than those wonderfully greasy, salty, old-fashioned, crunchy potato chips.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract until the mixture is light and fluffy. (You can do this by hand, but it’s a lot easier with an electric mixer.)
Add the quarter-cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix it in thoroughly.
Add the flour in half-cup increments, mixing well after each addition.
Add the crushed potato chips and mix well.
Take the bowl out of the mixer and add the semi- sweet chips by hand. Stir them in so that they are evenly distributed.
Form one-inch dough balls with your hands and place them on an UNGREASED cookie sheet, 12 to a standard-sized sheet. (As an alternative, you can line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.)
Place the sugar in a small bowl. Spray the flat bottom of a drinking glass with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray, dip it in the sugar, and use it to flatten each dough ball. (Dip the glass in the sugar for each cookie ball.)
Bake your cookies at 350 degrees F., for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are starting to turn golden at the edges. (Mine took the full 12 minutes.)
Let the Cocoa-Crunch Cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely. (If you used parchment paper, all you have to do is pull it over to the wire rack and let the cookies cool right on the paper.)
Yield: Approximately 6 to 7 dozen crunchy, chocolate, shortbread-like cookies, depending on cookie size.
It’s Christmas many years ago, and topping young Hannah Swensen’s wish list is becoming the go-to baker in Lake Eden, Minnesota. But as Hannah finds out, revisiting holiday memories can be murder . . .
With her dream of opening The Cookie Jar taking shape, Hannah’s life matches the hectic December hustle and bustle in Lake Eden—especially when she agrees to help recreate a spectacular Christmas Ball from the past in honor of Essie Granger, an elderly local in hospice care. But instead of poring over decadent dessert recipes for the merry festivities, she instantly becomes enthralled by Essie’s old notebooks and the tale of a woman escaping danger on the streets of New York. Hannah’s surprised by Essie’s secret talent for penning crime fiction. She’s even more surprised when the story turns real. As Hannah prepares to run a bakery and move out of her mother’s house, it’ll be a true miracle if she can prevent another Yuletide disaster by solving a mystery as dense as a Christmas fruitcake . . .
Indulge In Joanne Fluke’s Criminally Delicious Hannah Swensen Mysteries!
Wedding Cake Murder
“There are plenty of Fluke’s trademark recipes on view here, and the New York trip and reality show frame give the episode a fresh twist.” —Booklist
Double Fudge Brownie Murder
“Lively . . . Add the big surprise ending, and fans will be more than satisfied.” —Publishers Weekly
Blackberry Pie Murder
“Lake Eden’s favorite baker, Hannah Swensen finds herself on the wrong end of a police investigation . . . in Fluke’s good-natured 19th installment.” —Kirkus Reviews
Red Velvet Cupcake Murder
“Culinary cozies don’t get any tastier than this winning series.” —Library Journal
“If your reading habits alternate between curling up with a good mystery or with a good cookbook, you ought to know about Joanne Fluke.” —The Charlotte Observer