Thursday, May 10, 2012

The best Chewy Apricot Almond Oatmeal Cookies!

These cookies have everything in them.

It's everything we need to make today a great day.

Honey, brown sugar, rolled oats, toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, flax, cinnamon and fruit.

It totally screeeeeaaams BREAKFAST! To me these are the best Chewy Apricot Almond Oatmeal Cookies for real!

Oh...and ya...there's butter. But, BUT, BUT! Only 6 tablespoons of butter! And it's intentional. It's not to reduce calories, save a few miles on the daily jog, or make room for 3 instead of 2 with my morning tea.

It's just because 6 tablespoons (that's 85 g or 5 oz) is all you need to make these cookies as fabulous as they are.

Ever bake up a batch of oatmeal cookies and the edges get over-browned and crispy before the center has time to bake at all?

Answer: too much butter.

Oatmeal cookies typically have less flour than regular drop cookies because of the oats. But, unless you are using ground oats (oat flour) or instant oats, then regular large-flake rolled oats will not take in the butter and absorb moisture from the dough. They do not take the place of flour completely. 

Even without half a pound of butter, these cookies stay super chew and moist thanks to the soluble fiber from the oats, brown sugar and honey. Liquid sugars keep cookies moist remember?

First the dry ingredients are whisked up in a bowl.

The butter, honey and brown sugar is beaten up with egg and vanilla until creamy. Then the dry ingredients are stirred in to form a nice sticky dough.

All the goodies are folded in.

Toasting almonds really brings out their almond-y flavour. They smell so good. Don't eat any at this point because it's hard to stop. And then you'll have to do it all over again to make more for the cookies. I speak from experience.

Scoop portions onto your parchment-lined baking sheet. I like to use a quick-release or trigger ice cream scoop for this. I honestly never use this tool for ice cream.

Bake until golden brown around the edges and still just slightly soft in the middle, a mere 10 minutes.

Chewy Apricot Oatmeal Cookies with Toasted Almonds
Makes about 17 cookies

1 ¼ cups (175 g) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (65 g) old-fashioned large flake rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (165 g) packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp (45 ml) honey
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2.5 oz/70 g (about ½ cup) whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1.5 oz/42 g (about 1/3 cup) sunflower seeds
2 tbsp flax seeds (optional)
2.5 oz/70 g (about ½ cup) coarsely chopped dried apricots
coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt until evenly blended; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar and honey using an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, creamy and a bit fluffy, about 1 minute. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just blended, 10-15 seconds.

Add chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and chopped apricots. Fold them in until evenly combined using a rubber spatula.

Use a 1.5-oz ice cream scoop to drop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Flatten each cookie using the bottom of a dry measuring cup, sprinkle each one with a bit of sea salt and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before transferring individually to a wire rack to cool completely. 

These stay soft and chewy for days in an airtight container!

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