I’m not one to try out a ton of cookie recipes. I’m confident that I’ve found the best chocolate chip cookie recipes (my sister in law’s and these), and feel few urges to venture out of that comfort zone. I’m also married to a man whose list of acceptable cookies is a whopping one. When I push our conservative limits of the cookie realm and make a new kind, Jake will eat one. He then exercises his enormous self control around any kind of sweet thing he deems purely “ok” and not touch another one. The man isn’t even tempted. I have no such restraint, and will polish off the leftover ⅞ of a batch before the night is over. To prevent this cookie-inhaling madness, I hardly venture out of our traditional chocolate chip cookie routine anymore.
Recently though, I came across this one for the second time and was instantly siezed with a crippling craving. After looking at the ingredient list, I was instantly justified and pulled out my mixer. The wholesome things in this cookie place it in the most devious but comforting of dessert adjectives: “snacking.”
Used to as a damper for things like snacking chocolate and snacking chocolate cake, this adjective is generally used to make you feel better about eating any of these things at 3 PM, 9 PM, and then again at 8 AM. “Snacking” in the consumer realm simply indulges wavering resolves. Those bags of snacking chocolate are still chocolate, and that cake is still made with of tons of chocolate, sugar, and butter.
However, if a dessert had some saving graces, could I legitimately tack the word “snacking” on to the title and not just be fooling myself? Would it then be ok for me to make a batch, knowing I can’t trust myself around them? These cookies are a definite candidate.
They feel considerably less dessert-y than the previously mentioned chocolate chip cookies (and certainly less than a hunk of chocolate, or a piece of cake. I’ll let it rest now). They’re not falling apart in your hands, stuffed to the brim with chocolate, or so buttery that they leave little grease stains on the cookie sheet. Nope, these cookies full of apricots and made with half whole wheat flour. They’re dense enough to make me at least think about popping in a third consecutive one. They have enough chocolate to keep me from reaching into the chocolate chip bag when the craving hits. Before the description comes off too severe, I should mention that they are beyond delicious. They’re filled with warm spices that keep your mouth tingling in the best of ways. The combination of spices, chocolate, and apricots is so satisfying that the need for actual dessert (ahem, super-bad-for-you-dessert) disappears. In short, they’re wonderful little domes of soul-and-stomach-satisfying sweetness.
I should also mention that the day after I made these, Jake was very sad to find out that they were all gone. YES.
The recipe for these delightful snacking things is from Jerusalem: A Cookbook, one of my all-time favorite books with loads of delicious recipes in it. Though my loyalty to this wonderful book is unswayed, the recipe called for half an egg. Half an egg? mysecondbreakfast.com has a friendlier version, which most reasonably includes an entire egg. She geniously substitutes half the white flour for wheat (which works so beautifully with the already dense texture of the cookie) making this already snackable cookie dangerously excusable. I added in some apricots, because though dried fruit has no place in a normal chocolate chip cookie, it certainly does in a spiced cookie with chocolate chips.
They’re dense, spicy, and studded (a more appropriate adjective than “stuffed” because hey, we’re snacking here) with chocolate chips and the best dried fruit ever. Make them and you will never regret it.
Chocolate and Apricot Spice Cookies
Adapted slightly from mysecondbreakfast.com and Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Scant 1 cup all purpose flour
Scant 1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt chocolate, and apricots.
In a large bowl (or a stand mixer) add butter, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk for 1 minute until combined but not over aerated.
Add the egg and mix for an additional 1 minute.
Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Dump out of the mixer bowl and gently knead the dough until it comes together in a uniform ball.
Divide dough into 2 1/2 tablespoon pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. You will have about 15 balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 centimetres apart.
Rest in fridge for 1 hour, then preheat oven to 375F.
Bake cookies for 15 minutes, and don’t worry if they are still extremely soft. They’ll firm up as they cool. Rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack. Put them in a lidded container and they’ll keep for, well, probably more than a day. I’m not sure because they didn’t last that long.