White Chocolate Apricot Oatmeal Cookies
May 29, 2011
These cookies come to you sans story. In elementary school we learned that the key to a good story, or any story, is a hook in the first paragraph or sentence, and I realize beginning a blog entry with a complaint about not having a story is not necessarily the way to make people want to read what you have to say. Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s almost as if I baked these cookies because I didn’t have anything to say.
I’m re-reading that first paragraph and shaking my head in shame. Sorry, folks. I’ll try to explain.
Baking is something that I fell into and love for many reasons. It engages my brain and my senses, almost like flipping a switch that makes me more conscious of the world around me and all the amazing things that can happen when you combine certain parts of the world – research and ingredients and recipes and baked goods being a kind of microcosm of the world in general. Conversely, baking allows me to disengage when I need to, in the sense that the process has become so natural to me that the mechanics are soothing, and the baked good at the end of the journey is of great comfort to my sometimes overly exhausted mind. I baked these cookies on a whim because I love the blog they came from, had the ingredients on hand, and had to take a serious mental vacation, if only for an hour or two.
The bloggers who made these white chocolate apricot oatmeal cookies were not super impressed with them, but I definitely loved them. It might just be that I’m a total sucker for dried apricots, and oatmeal in any way, shape, or form. Verdict is still out on that one.
Before sending you out into the world with this recipe, I’ll pass along a tip I learned while reading about oatmeal cookies. Most of the recipes I’ve read concerning these treats say that chilling the dough for the appropriate amount of time is key to a chewier, thicker cookie. Some say that the cookie dough is best after an evening in the fridge, and some recommend scooping the cookies onto a baking sheet, freezing them, and baking them as needed (which you can do for just about any cookie). I definitely noticed a difference between the cookies that got more time in the fridge before baking and the ones who were able to stay cold a little longer. I say this because I’m usually that person who sees chilling time in a cookie recipe and makes the executive decision (of an impatient cookie monster) to skip it, and in this case it really paid off to be patient.
Also, happy Memorial Day!
White Chocolate Apricot Oatmeal Cookies
(Recipe adapted from The Bitten Word)
Yields about 4 dozen cookies
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup whole wheat flour and ½ cup all-purpose)
1 ½ cups old fashioned, or rolled, oats
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup, or 2 sticks, unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped or chips
7 ounces, or 1 ½ cup, dried apricots, chopped (I chopped the apricots pretty irregularly and really liked the different-size pieces in the finished product.)
1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir or whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
3. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract (on low speed, if using a stand mixer) and beat until well combined.
4. Gradually add flour and oat mixture just until combined. Stir in chopped apricots and white chocolate.
5. Cover cookie dough and refrigerate for at least a half hour. While dough is in the fridge, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Scoop cookies by the tablespoonful (or with a cookie scoop) onto baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart because the cookies will spread a bit. Bake cookies for 14 to 16 minutes.
7. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 2 to 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.