Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Apricot Honey Cookies

"These cookies taste like Christmas."

That's what my husband said when he first tried them, and he's right. And if stores can be reminding us that Christmas is on its way, then I suppose my kitchen is allowed to as well. Especially because cookies are probably one of the best parts of Christmas, and these are lovely little cookies indeed. They aren't Christmasy in the way that a gingerbread latte is. On the contrary, these are delicate and subtle. The flavors are mild but warm. Nice with a hot beverage as you watch outside your window the season's first flakes of snow intermingling with rain, and the bright yellow leaves that were part of a tree just yesterday dancing in the insane wind that has just taken over your city.

apricots and honey

There's not much else to say about these cookies. They're nothing to gush or mull over. They are just nice, simple little two-bite treats. Or one bite treats, depending on which of the two methods I describe most suits your fancy.

Exhibit A: Quick and Easy Version

ball cookie

Exhibit B: Rolled, Chilled, and Sliced Version

cookie disk

I think I preferred the quick and easy version. They were a little softer, and you could pop them into your mouth whole, which is fun, and they were ready quickly. But the more involved version definitely looks more involved, and is certainly as delicious as the former, so if you want the less rustic, more polished look, go for the rolled, chilled, and sliced version.

Or do both.

cookie comparison

I altered a recipe from David Lebovitz to make these. My alterations are as follows: I halved the recipe because I don't need 50 cookies hanging around my house (although, I think either his recipe yields way more than 50 cookies or he made much larger cookies than I did, because I already made over 20 and I have half of my own dough in the freezer still); I substituted honey for sugar, because I think honey and cornmeal go together v. nicely (e.g. cornbread + honey butter); and I, of course, used dried apricots in place of currants. My cookies look much softer than his, and I imagine it's because of the honey. Also: I've almost used the last of my dried apricots! Yay!

I have to go get a Christmas tree now. Enjoy the recipe.

Apricot Honey Cookies
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Yield: about 50 small cookies

1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 tablespoon flour

2.5 ounces butter, softened (about 5 tablespoons)
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup stoneground, coarse cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

If you plan on making the easy version, preheat oven to 325 degrees. If you make the more polished version, preheat the oven about fifteen minutes before you plan on baking them.

In a bowl, toss the dried apricots with the 1 tablespoon flour and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and honey. Add the egg and vanilla and stir until well-combined and a little fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until incorporated, and then stir in the dried apricots.

To make the easy, quick version, form walnut-sized balls out of the dough (about 1 tablespoon) and place them on a parchment- or Silpat-lined cookie sheet, like so...

cookie dough balls

The dough will be quite sticky, so you might want to flour your fingers a bit.

To make the rolled, chilled, and sliced version, place a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, then gather the dough into one large ball and place it in the center of the plastic wrap. Fold up the edges to create as much of a disk-type shape as you can. Put the disk in the refrigerator and chill for about an hour. Once the dough has chilled and is solid enough to handle, remove from the refrigerator and unwrap. Using your hands, shape the dough into a tube, about 2" in diameter. Wrap and chill again for about an hour. (Or freeze the dough for later - this is what I did.) When you are ready to bake the cookies, slice them about 1/4" thick and place them on a parchment- or Silpat-lined cookie sheet.

cookie dough disks

Regardless of which version you opt to make, bake for 10 minutes. (Even using the frozen dough, they still took only 10 minutes.) Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes. Get your hot beverage ready and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! You're so clever. I don't get to check this nearly as often as I'd like, but WOW. I wish I lived next door--or in the trundle of your 80's daybed :)
    What do you mean you had to go get your Christmas tree? Won't it be dead by the time the day gets here? I'm envious, actually. xo love me