The other day, I was in line at Trader Joe’s.
I had finished my shopping.
And then I saw them: a bag of bright, pretty, plump, soft, dried apricots.
The bag was not in its usual spot, in the aisle with the nuts and other dried fruits.
They were up front, right next to me in line. And they were totally flirting with me!
I’d look away from time to time, but the apricots wouldn’t stop staring at me. Finally, I glanced back and I started imagining them in the middle of a cookie. The apricots would be so interesting and unexpected there — and delicious!
Okay fine, I’ll do it! I’ll give you a shot. I’ll go out with you! And into my cart – and into my life – those apricots went!
P.S. Don’t you love starting the week with a dessert?!
- 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup finely chopped white chocolate
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4-1/2 dozen dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds or almond meal
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter with the sugars and vanilla. Once everything is evenly blended, add the egg and mix until the batter is smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix only until combined.
- Fold in the white chocolate and the chocolate chips.
- Use a 1-inch cookie scoop to shape the cookie dough, about 2 inches apart on the parchment-covered baking sheets.
- Then place one dried apricot on each dollop of dough and press it down gently.
- Add a second 1-inch cookie scoop of dough on top of each dried apricot. Press down gently to seal the edges so the apricot is completely hidden.
- Now sprinkle a bit of the almonds on top of each one.
- Bake in the preheated oven just until the cookies solidify, about 8 minutes. They should still look a bit doughy when you remove them from the oven -- they will firm up a bit as they cool. Leave them on the baking sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
At least 2 hours ahead of time: Make the cookie dough.
Up to 1 day and at least 20 minutes ahead of time: Bake the cookies.
You can make the dough, shape it, and freeze it! (Keep them in an airtight container or double wrapped in plastic.) Then you’ll have them at the ready to pop in the oven just before guests are arriving. The house will smell great, and everyone will get fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies! The dough can be kept frozen for a few weeks or so — but it’s best to bake it within a week. You can also freeze the baked cookies for a couple of weeks. When I do this, I like to warm them in the oven just before serving.