Thursday, June 27, 2013

Brown Butter and Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

I felt like making cookies again this week, so I did.  As these cookies contain dried apricots and oatmeal, they are probably healthier than most cookies.  Apricots remind me of summer.  My grandmother had two apricot trees in her back yard, and I would eat them straight off her tree during the summer.  She would make and can apricot jam and nectar.  Her thick and velvety apricot nectar was a valued commodity in the family.

For these cookies, I used a recipe entitled, "Best Oatmeal Cookies."  With such a title, I had complete confidence these cookies would turn out well.  I used browned butter to give the cookies a nuttier flavor.

I used 1/2 cup brown butter, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cubed dried apricots, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup oatmeal, and 3/8 cup chopped walnuts.

How this recipe combined the ingredients is different than most cookie recipes.  The eggs and vanilla were not mixed into the creamed butter and sugar.  You let the eggs, vanilla, and apricot chunks hang out together for an hour.  I am not sure why I was instructed to soak the apricots for so long.  A number of sources say that soaking dried fruit makes them plumper and softer in baked goods, but they only recommended steeping the fruit for about ten minutes.  

After waiting about 50 minutes for the eggs, vanilla, and apricots to meld, I creamed the sugars and brown butter.  You'll probably be fascinated to learn that most American apricots originate from seedlings brought to the west by Spanish missionaries.

I then added the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda to the butter and sugar.

I was frightened after combining these ingredients, but the cookies turned out fine.  The cookie dough resembled coarse crumbs.  I reread the instructions a few times and second guessed myself.

Then I added the walnuts, oatmeal, and apricot goo.  With every stir, the batter began to resemble a cookie dough; I was relieved.  I then baked small mounds of batter on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.

I enjoy oatmeal cookies, and switching out the raisins for dried apricots was a welcome change.  The texture, smell, and flavor were exquisite.

No comments: