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December 08 2012 / Emily

Amaretto Apricot Chews

Last week I took part in a cookie exchange with a group of girlfriends.  I thought I’d try something new and different in terms of cookie type.  When I was home with my parents for Thanksgiving I paged through an old Betty Crocker Cookies and Candies cookbook and found just the right cookie: Amaretto Apricot Chews.

I was very happy with how these cookies turned out.  I’m writing this post over a week later, and still have a few left in the kitchen.  They are a great cookie consistency, in my opinion.  Chewy but not mushy, and not too crunchy.  I prefer a chewy cookie.  They are sturdy enough to hold their shape though – not so soft that they crumble.  It’s a nice mixture of flavors, and I’ve been able to convince myself they are okay to have with breakfast since they have oats and fruit.  I could honestly see these being a breakfast bar sort of thing, though perhaps without the icing.  Maybe too much liqueur in the morning.  I guess I should have expected this consistency from the word “chew” in the cookie name, but when I was baking I thought they might end up dry.

Now I am not much of a baker.  I enjoy it, but it’s dangerous to have piles of cookies around, and also the oven in my apartment is terrible.  Pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but most of the numbers are worn off the temperature knob and it has a mind of its own regarding temperatures.  I have an internal thermometer and it’ll be at 375° happily for some time then I open it up and it’s up to like 450°.  Things get burned.  So I just don’t bake.  I had to buy all the ingredients for these cookies except amaretto (thank you booze collection) and brown sugar, which I had around the house from making my cookie dough dip (see this post for recipe and more oven talk).

Amaretto Apricot Chews
From Betty Crocker’s cookbook

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon Amaretto
2 1/2 cups regular or quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup snipped dried apricots
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

Amaretto Icing

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2-3* tablespoons Amaretto (I needed a lot more)

Stir together flour and baking soda.  In a large mixer bowl beat butter or margarine till softened.  Add brown sugar and sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add egg and 1 tablespoon Amaretto and beat well.  Add flour mixture and beat till well mixed.  Stir in oats, apricots and almonds.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in a 375° oven for 8-10 minutes or till done.  Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute then remove and cool thoroughly.

Icing: stir together powdered sugar and enough of the Amaretto to make an icing of drizzling consistency.  Drizzle over cookies.

The recipe says it makes about 54.  It made about 70 for me but next time I’m going to make slightly bigger cookies.

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Start with a pile of ingredients.

November 29 - baking cookies

Beat the butter… easier said than done when all two sticks of butter want to do is whirl up inside the beaters.  Then I had to put the mixer on a lot higher than I felt comfortable so it would fling the butter back into the bowl.  Definitely flung some of it around the kitchen too…

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Then add your ingredients as detailed in the recipe.  First the sugars, then mix.  Second the egg and amaretto, and mix.  Third the flour and baking soda, and mix.  Then I finally had a dough – which meant it was time to scrape the beaters and put them into the sink.  Or, honesty abounds here, scrape most of the dough from the beaters, then lick them thoroughly and put into the sink.

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Next, stir in your oats, almonds and sliced dried apricots.  I bought almond slices and did additional chopping, which I do not think was necessary.  The slices are already thin enough.  The apricots were a sticky endeavor to slice up, but it was worth it for the flavor in the cookies!

This was a bit of a beast to combine thoroughly.  I started getting concerned that it was too dry with all those oats added in, but it ultimately came together well into a thick dough.

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The final dough can be seen in this bowl.  Next to get it onto the cookie sheet.  The recipe calls for rounded teaspoons worth of dough.  I remembered my cookie scoop and dug it out of my utensil drawer.  Yes, although I don’t even keep flour and sugar in the house, I have a specific cookie scoop.  Mysteries of life!

The scoop was larger than the suggested cookie size, so I just filled it partway.  I ended up neatening up all the edges so the dough going into the oven practically had the appearance of rolled balls of dough, not scooped.

I kept a very close eye on the cookies since I wasn’t sure what the oven would do next, and some of them ended up baking with the oven door open to keep the temperature down!

I only have one cookie sheet so this whole baking process was slowed down a bit since I couldn’t just pop a second sheet into the oven right when the first came out.  And the temperatures in there are not well suited to baking two trays simultaneously anyway.  If I moved the racks around I would end up with burned tops up high and burned bottoms on the lower shelf.  So I just had to let the cookies cool, and then move them to the rack and let the tray cool before I scooped more cookies.

My cookies got a bit larger as the process continued.   As I said in the recipe above, it said it would make 54 but I got like 70.  And I’m pretty sure I was using more than a rounded teaspoon… a teaspoon is pretty small.  So I don’t know what Betty Crocker was thinking there.

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Now your cookies are cooked and thoroughly cooled on the cooling rack.  If you don’t want a mess, line beneath the rack with paper towels or something, because it is time for the icing!

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The frosting was a frustrating process!  I will admit that the recipe calls for sifted powdered sugar, and I don’t have a sifter, so I just stirred mine with a fork once it was in the bowl.  Perhaps that has something to do with the quantity disagreement I have with Ms. Crocker.  The recipe says to stir “enough of the 2-3 tablespoons Amaretto to make an icing of drizzling consistency.”

Well… see the picture above for what the consistency was with 2 tablespoons.  So I added a third… still was barely moistening the sugar.  A fourth tablespoon got it moving to a dough like consistency.  I was sure at any moment I’d reach the perfect ratio, so I switched to teaspoons of Amaretto.  Ultimately it took six tablespoons worth of Amaretto to get to something I could drizzle.

Do you think it was because I didn’t sift the sugar?  I just don’t understand how a recipe could be so far off!  I mean it’s a very simple mixture of two things.  Anyway, the Amaretto flavor got magnified through this, but it’s a delicious flavor so no problem there.

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Anyway, get it to drizzle however you need to, and then get a’drizzlin!  I lined beneath the cooling racks to catch all the drips of icing that missed the cookies.  Definitely better than fighting with icing on the counter.

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So here is my big tray of cookies for the cookie party!  They were a hit.  I did, of course, keep a few at home for myself.  Also brought a few to a coworker to share, and she loved them.  Called me the cookie queen. 🙂

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Then at the end of the cookie party I came home with a nice bin full of assorted other cookies. Lots of flavors to try out.  I think my favorite so far is the peanut butter oatmeal craisin ones.

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One Comment

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  1. anna p. / Jan 5 2013 12:32 PM

    Your cookies were yummy! George really liked them also:)

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