By Lydia Ellison
When my Martha Stewart Living magazine arrives in the mail each month I have a special ritual. I make tea and snuggle on my sofa with my magazine and some sticky tabs and get lost in the pages of eggshell blue excellence. Last month I received my March issue and read it in this aforementioned fashion and when I got to the last page, the “Cookie of the Month” page, I was struck by inspiration. I got up off my sofa and went to the market so I could immediately make cookies (this is very rare, I hardly ever bake.)
Now I should admit I had been craving oatmeal cookies for awhile… I am an oatmeal-raisin person, not usually an oatmeal- chocolate cookie person but the MSL March “Cookie of the Month” was the perfect balance between the two, Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Apricots and White Chocolate! It sounded amazing and I had all the ingredients except for white chocolate and apricots. I made them with gluten free baking mix instead of regular flour (most oats are gluten free) and they worked perfectly! Moist and fluffy on the inside and crunchy and crisp around the bottom and edges. I substituted half the white chocolate with unsweetened dark chocolate to cut the sweetness of the white chocolate and cut down the vanilla extract but added my signature almond extract instead. They were fantastic! Drew and I ate 3 cookies each right before dinner (in lieu of a salad course you could say) and later that evening our friends devoured the rest of them at a Top Chef viewing and never once suspected they were gluten free. Success.
You can of course make them with normal flour if you and your loved ones are not sensitive to gluten.
Chocolate, Oatmeal and Apricot Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe
Makes about 4 dozen (I froze half the dough and baked them off the next week)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or Gluten Free Baking Mix)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
4 ounces white chocolate chips
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
7 ounces dried apricots, preferably California, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour (or GF baking mix substitute), oatmeal, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla and almond extracts and eggs, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just combined. Stir in chocolates and apricots. Cover, and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
2. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges but still soft in the center, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.