Monday, December 3, 2012

Oatmeal Apricot Cookies

I'm not a big fan of raisins. It's not a taste or texture thing - it's a ... raisin mental block. I've gotten to the point where I can eat them for politeness, but there's little chance I'm going to willingly add them to baked goods.

Fortunately, there are a LOT of other dried fruits that I do like. Most of them, actually. Unless they're in fruitcake, but that's a whole different thing.

When my friends at Mariani asked about recipes using dried apricots, the first thing I thought about was oatmeal apricot cookies. The apricots add a nice sweet-tart chewiness to the cookies. These are a little crisp on the edges with a caramelly crunchiness on the browned edges. The centers are chewy and moist.

This recipe makes about 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them.

Oatmeal Apricot Cookies

1 stick butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried apricots

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper for easier cleanup.

Cut the apricots in a large dice - I ended up with 6-8 pieces per apricot, and the pieces were about the size of a chocolate chip.

Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until well-combined and smooth.

Add the flour and mix well. Stir in the oatmeal and apricots.

Use a small scoop or a spoon to portion the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving room for them to spread. (You might need a third pan, depending on how you arrange them.)

Bake at 375 until the cookies are browned at the edges and no longer look wet on top - about 12 minutes for smaller cookies 15 min for larger ones. About halfway through baking, turn the pans around front-to-back, and swap the upper pan for the lower one, for more even baking.

Let them cool a minute or two on the pans, then let them cool completely on a rack.

This post is sponsored by Mariani.