How to choose the perfect apricot for my cookies! Of course, the best and freshest way is right off the tree. But if you are like me I do not have an apricot tree in my backyard (I wish). When looking at apricots in the store look for a deep orange-gold color rather than those that are a pale orange or yellow color. They should be firm but still, have a little softness to them.
Well, going through the fruit section at the grocery store, I concluded that I love summer fruit. The choices are so vast that I sometimes find myself there for an hour just looking everything over. Spotting a bag of apricots, I could not resist pulling every apricot out of the small clear bag to examine. I always want to touch and squeeze fruit before adding to my cart.
I secretly think the produce grocery people hate seeing me since I examine everything before deciding what I want to buy. But I want the best fruit I can find for my cookies.
Apricots have a slight tart taste, so I wanted to make sure I added something sweet to this cookie. I grabbed a container of white chocolate wafers to balance the sweetness and tartness of this cookie.
Fresh Apricot with Almonds CookiesBarbara Hall
- 3 cups All-purpose flour 360 g
- ¾ cup Sugar white 149 g
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 cup Butter unsalted 2 sticks
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 packed tablespoon Orange zest
- 2 tablespoon Orange juice fresh
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups Fresh Apricots 8 to 10 apricots
- 1 cup Almonds sliced
- 1 cup White chocolate wafers
- To prepare the apricots cut a small X in the bottom of the apricot. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water, then move to ice water, and the skins should peel off easily. Cut the apricots in half and removing the pit. Cut into small bite size pieces till you get 2 cups.
- Take one orange and zest (I use a Micoplane Wood Handle Zester) putting into a bowl and set aside. Cut the orange in half and using a hand juicer squeeze till you get two tablespoons into a separate bowl and set it aside.
- Weigh or measure your flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. I run a whisk through the dry ingredients to blend them. Next, weigh or measure your sugar in a separate bowl and set that aside.
- In a stand (I love my KitchenAid) or hand-held mixer cream, the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy about 3 minutes. Add the orange zest, vanilla extract, and fresh orange juice and blend. Turn the mixer down and slowly add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and add the almond slices and the fresh apricots. Only blend on low speed till the almonds and the apricots are through the dough. If you do it for too long, the apricots will start to break up.
- Loosely cover and put the cookie dough into the refrigerator for at least an hour. Any time you use fresh fruit in a cookie, you need the cookie dough cold before baking — a good time to preheat your oven and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Pull the cookie dough from the refrigerator and using a small cookie scoop I put 12 mounds on a cookie pan. I put the cookie dough back in the fridge between bakings. Bake for 12-14 minutes mine was good at 13, but every oven is just a little different. They should start to get golden brown on the top and the sides.
- I line the cookies up side by side when cooling it makes it easier to put on the piped icing. Take the white chocolate wafers and microwave for 30 seconds and stir, then heat for another 15 seconds and stir. If it has not all melted, only do for another 15 seconds. Don't microwave for too long or the chocolate will seize. It will be hard and lumpy looking.
- You can also melt by having two bowls, and the bottom bowl has hot water, and the top has your white chocolate wafers. This method is a little slower, but it works very well. Put melted white chocolate into a small piping bag with a small tip, and you can add any decoration you want on the top. I love white chocolate and apricots they compliment each other nicely.