Apricot Tarragon Oatmeal Cookies

Dorie Greenspan is one of my favorite cooks.  I just love listening to her voice when she does a guest spot on National Public Radio.  I recently read where she makes a shortbread cookie with apricots and French tarragon.  I had never had the two flavors together.  Since I had dried apricots in the pantry and fresh tarragon in the garden, it was time for a flavor experiment.  The lady knows her stuff.   The flavors were wonderful together.

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My problem is– I’m not much on shortbread cookies:  white flour and white sugar…..a whole lot of empty calories.  Its just not my thing.  How about as an oatmeal cookie?…. with whole wheat flour, raw sugar and oats to boot?  Flavor with healthy benefits to go with it….yes!

The cookies turned out wonderful!  I mixed the fresh tarragon into the shortening/sugar mix so the flavor could infuse a little bit.  I also mixed the chopped apricot pieces into the flour mixture before adding it to the wet ingredients.  This keeps your apricot pieces from clumping together so they will mix evenly into the dough.  The first dozen disappeared even before I had finished baking them all!  Thanks Dorie for a great flavor combo.

Makes 4 dozen 2 to 2-1/2 inch cookies

You’ll need:

3/4 cup vegetable shortening (butter will cause the cookie to spread)

3/4 cup raw sugar

4 tbs fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 egg

scant 1/4 cup of water

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tbs ground flax

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup dried apricots chopped into small pieces (about raisin size)

3 cups old fashioned oats (not quick oats)

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Heat oven to 350F

Cream shortening and sugar together, add tarragon and continue to beat until mixture is fluffy (2-4 minutes).  Add vanilla and almond extract, water, along with the egg.  Mix.

In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and soda.  Stir apricot pieces into flour, making sure apricots are not clumping and individual pieces are coated with the flour.  Add apricot-flour mixture to wet ingredients and beat until just combined.  Add oats 1 cup at a time and mix until oats are incorporated.

Place 1 1/2 inch size scoops of dough on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.  Press balls with a fork in a hash tag pattern until cookie is about 1/2 inch thick.  Bake for 12-14 minutes until just golden.  Remove from trays and cool completely before storing at room temperature.  The cookies are even better the next day (if they last that long).  Enjoy!

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