I did something a little bad today. I bought two new cookie and cupcake magazine cookbooks because they were on mega sale and because only a fool would pass up a sale as good as the one I stumbled on today. “Bad? What’s so bad?” you ask. “Sales are great, you love to bake, and two more magazines of recipes doesn’t sound so terrible” you say. But it is. Because I already have a stack of food magazines and paper inspiration almost up to knees. I know I’m short, but the stack is UP TO MY KNEES. I am an uncontrollable cookie monster! If I’m not reading cookbooks and magazines and thinking about future scrapbook layouts, I’m thinking about the next batch of cookies I want to bake and creating new spin-off recipes in my head. I’ve been putting stars next to all the ones I want to try in my Hannah Swensen foodie murder mysteries and I’m even mulling over different flavours of cookie sandwiches with frostings and fillings. At this point, I’m surprised I’m not swimming in cookies and cake.
I recently baked new cookies for my grandparents again (new ones for my grandpa to take with him during his dialysis trips and cookies for my grandma’s birthday!) and I am so happy the cookies make them happy because it totally and completely justifies the incessant urge to bake. At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before my house looks like the one in Hansel & Gretel. Only instead of the evil woman, I’m the cookie princess who wishes I could share my treats with the world instead of just photos. Until I have that dream cookie bakery of mine though, the internet will have to do. I have two new batches of cookies for you all and this is the first of the two, coming straight from my pantry!
We always have some form of dried fruit in our house now. Ever since my mum and I started eating yogurt, cereal, and fruit and granola on a regular basis (and I do mean all three at once!), we’ve always had dried fruit and plenty of nuts on hand. Dried apple rings, dried cranberries, almonds, walnuts, chestnuts, you name it. Baking straight out of my cupboards, I came up with this yummy combination: dried apricots with pecans and white chocolate to create nutty apricots and cream cookies! I love dried apricots and I love using white chocolate and oatmeal in everything so I wanted to see how the all of them would work out in a cookie. At first, I was only thinking of doing an apricots and cream one (kind of like peaches and cream), but then I realized we had way too many pecans and figured I would give them a shot too.
The cookies turned out fab! Aside from making them bigger and using the drop method as oppose to the dough ball method, I wouldn’t change a thing. The pecans give the cookies such an amazing crunch and aroma and the white chocolate and apricots cut through the slight taste of toasty savouriness from the pecans to keep them sweet. The cookie experiment was a success!
Recipe for Nutty Apricots & Cream Cookies (yields 3-4 dozen cookies)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2½ sticks unsalted butter (10 ounces), at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups of dried apricots, chopped (measure after chopping)
- 1 ½ cups of pecans, chopped (measure after chopping)
- 1 ½ cups of white chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (*Deb’s Note: (*Deb’s Note: Depending on how big you make your cookie dough balls or spoonfuls, you’ll need to reuse your cookie sheets a few times. My oven runs hot, so I actually don’t bother putting anything on the bottom rack and only use the top rack, placing 2 baking sheets vertically side by side).
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (*Deb’s Note: I didn’t use the mixer for this step, I just used a large spoon to mix everything together).
- In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and both sugars at medium speed until creamy. Add the egg followed by egg yolk and vanilla, beating well between additions and scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary (*Deb’s Note: I don’t have a standing mixer so I used a handheld).
- Beat in the dry ingredients, then add the chopped apricots and pecans, followed by the white chocolate chips. Using a large spoon or your clean hands, fold in until evenly distributed.
- Spoon heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown at the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely (*Deb’s Note: I rolled my cookie dough into golf ball size balls to create bon bon size cookies. Use the drop method if you want them bigger and flatter. As well, I placed 15 on each baking sheet).
Recipe inspired by Food & Wine magazine. Sampson, Sally. “How Baking Can Change the World.” Food & Wine November 2011: 130.