Monday, 13 February 2012

Apricot Almond Cookies

Yesterday, I had a dilemma. My craving for cookies was colossal, but there was some dried apricots that needed using up. Then the "lightbulb" moment came: I rushed to my Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book and impatiently flicked through the pages. This recipe had been on my mental 'to bake' list ever since I bought the book, and now, the one time I have apricots to use, it springs to the attention of my somewhat sieve-like memory. It was meant to be - I wasn't in any position to refuse fate, so I pulled on my apron and hat, and happily rescued the apricots from the fridge. 
This is a cookie with a lovely chewy texture with a flavour to match. You can vary their softness depending on their baking time - if you want a softer cookie, take them out just as they begin to turn golden brown. If you want a bit of outside crisp to accompany the chewy insides, wait until they are golden brown.

Apricot and Almond Cookies
(From Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days)

makes 10-12 giant cookies

135g unsalted butter
80g caster sugar
80g light brown soft sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla essence
190g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
60g ground almonds
20g flaked almonds, roasted (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170C. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. 
With an electric mixer cream together the butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Mix in the egg, then the vanilla essence. Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon and bicarb soda together and add to the butter mixture in 2 batches, folding together until combined. Stir in the apricots and ground almonds. Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared trays - mine made 12 very large cookies, so if you want you could make them smaller to produce a larger yield. Leave 3inches between each cookie to allow spreading in the oven. Sprinkle some flaked almonds over each cookie and press in slightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for around 10 minutes on the trays then cool completely on a wire rack - or eat them straight out the oven like we did!

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