Mystery of the Super Thin Cookie

Today’s recipe was sent to me by Brooke.

Brooke is a fan of Joanne Fluke, who writes stories about Hannah Swenson, a woman who runs a bakery called “The Cookie Jar” and helps solve mysteries. To date, I have not read a Hannah Swenson book, but I like books with recipes and am sure I’d enjoy the series. For this post, I went ahead and used a version of the recipe posted on-line. It’s called “Shortstack Cookies” — all the flavor of buttery pancakes with maple syrup, tied into a cookie.

pancake cookies

Yup, that’s a shortstack, all right. My cookies turned out a little thin for some reason. Maybe Hannah Swenson scoops her flour? I’m not sure, but I had to let these cool on the sheet then peel them off. Once peeled off, they were sturdy, but something’s strange here…’s a mystery!

The cookies did have a good flavor, so if you are not intimidated by super-thin and chewy cookies, then I recommend this recipe. Or maybe you could make it and prove that I did something wrong.


— Added 1 C flour,
— 1/2 C brown sugar,
— 1 tsp baking powder and 1.5 tsp baking soda.
— added 2 tsp maple extract. topped them with a quick buttermilk-maple glaze cause I wanted a buttermilk flavor in the pancake as well.
1/4 C buttermilk, 1 tsp maple extract, powdered sugar to consistency desired. drizzled on baked cookies over cooling rack. Yummm

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  1. Jackie says

    I have been reading the Hannah Swenson books too. I liked the idea of a mystery book that includes cookie recipes. It’s fun reading. Would be a good book to take to the beach as it’s not fine literature by any means but it’s entertaining.

  2. Stacy says

    I’m currently reading a Hannah Swenson book right now too! I love this type of book, I think it’s called a “cozy” where it’s a light mystery, solved by an everyday person, not a policeman or detective. I’m only on the second Hannah Swenson though, and haven’t tried any of her recipes. I think there’s several in each book 🙂

    Have a great day!

  3. angel van says

    her books are the greatest. i have ever/read every single one of her books. i just wish i had a kitchen that i could make all her recipes in.

  4. says

    I made some pirouette’s recently that look to be about as thin, though I’m surprised at how long these short stacks bake since my cookies were done in half the time of these short stacks. Maple syrup sounds yummy in a cookie.

  5. says

    Thanks for all the Hannah Swenson recommendations. Hey, at least if I don’t like the mysteries, I’ll have the recipes.

    Brian, you raised a good point. I pulled mine out of the oven at 9 or 10 minutes. The bake time in the recipe was too long.

    Maybe I’ll obsess over how I could turn this into a thicker, more maple-flavored cookie.

  6. Katie says


    I love the Joanne Fluke books and the Diane Mott Davidson. It seems that there is a trend towards mystery novels that include recipes! I mentioned this to you before, but I really think you’d be interested in Fluke’s recipe for Cherry cheesecake. It’s from her book “Cherry Cheesecake Murder”. It has an ingredient I think you’d be surprised to see in a cheesecake!

  7. Derek says

    I’ve been lurking around the website for awhile, thought I’d post cause I tweaked the cookie a little to make it a bit thicker.

    Added 1 C flour, 1/2 C brown sugar, cut it back to 1 tsp baking powder and 1.5 tsp baking soda. added 2 tsp maple extract. topped them with a quick buttermilk-maple glaze cause I wanted a buttermilk flavor in the pancake as well. 1/4 C buttermilk, 1 tsp maple extract, powdered sugar to consistency desired. drizzled on baked cookies over cooling rack. Yummm

  8. says

    Anna, good morning!
    The cookies have a lot of butter, but what I thought it was most strange in the recipe is the amount of baking soda. 4 tspn??? This does not sound right… I think that’s why they turned out so thin… But hey, If they taste good how cares?

  9. says

    Katie, I remember you mentioning it now! Forgot about the cheesecake, though. I’ll try it.

    Derek, thanks so much for those changes! I’m going to re-write the recipe with your changes and give it a try. Since the original has so much flour, I’ll cut it in half.

    CC, the 4 teaspoons of baking soda was odd, but not outlandish because there was also a lot of flour and sugar. However, it might have been a typo. That’s the problem with getting a recipe off sites like that.

    BTW. Did anyone noticed the feature that lets you turn the recipe into a puzzle? At first, I thought it was silly, but the puzzle turned out to be a “Search a Word” and Fuzz loves those. Maybe I should turn my blog into a big puzzle?

  10. says

    Anna, thanks so much for making these 🙂 I definitely pictured them as being thicker too! But at least they tasted okay! I wonder if all the butter has something to do with the flatness? I personally like a nice thick, chewy cookie… Thanks for giving them a shot for me! Now I’ll have to try one of her recipes on my own!

  11. Katie says

    I just remembered that Fluke “scoops” and “packs” her flour and doesn’t sift- so probably you could use at least 1/4 cup more flour. Typically, she also uses melted butter and then chills the dough. My mother and I have read the entire series and we still haven’t figured out why someone would bake cookies with melted butter.

  12. says

    Well, there you go.

    Katie, you have solved the mystery.

    With 4 cups of flour, the full recipe could be off by at least 1 cup of flour.

    I’m always astounded at how much more flour I get when I shake the cup or scoop and pack — probably 1/4 cup more per cup.

    Spooned and swept I get 4 1/2 oz
    Packed, I get at least 5 1/2 oz

    This is why we should all just weigh everything….oh, and switch to metric! Baking would be so much more accurate.

  13. Derek says

    Well, even with the changes they are still pretty flat. Usually my ratio for a nice, dense, chewy cookie is..

    4 oz butter
    7 oz sugar (mixed)
    1 tbsp corn syrup
    1 egg
    1-2 tsp extract
    7.5 oz flour (different kinds)
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp bk soda
    1/2 tsp bk powder

    this one when scaled down is
    4 oz melted butter
    2/3 cups sugar
    1 large beaten eggs
    3 tbsp maple syrup
    1.33 teaspoons baking soda
    1/3 teaspoon salt
    1/3 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/3 cups flour (not sifted) (about 6 oz)

    The wicked amnt of bk soda, less flour, melted butter, and syrup all would increase spread. Personally I don’t see a reason to melt the butter, I just creamed mine, But I guess to add more flavor you could brown the butter first and use that.

  14. Tisha says

    I did the recipe exactly as written, but used whole wheat flour. My cookies came out thick like a pancake and tasted like buckwheat pancakes…very yummy!

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