Coconut Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

Aurelia’s school is closed for a week and I’m part relishing, part agonizing over getting work done from home with a nearly 2 1/2 year old and providing the structure and play she needs at 20 minute intervals. Tea party, go! Playdough, go! Alphabet magnets, go! Caillou, go! Markers on the table, go! Grape juice on the rug, go! The lesson from today was that when times get stressful, I have to step away from the computer, ignore the multiple new messes, and make cookies with my girl.

These are just my kind of cookie. I ate four six of them this afternoon. Dang it. But they are just that perfect balance of crunchy and chewy, barely sweet with a touch of salt, the richness of the coconut with the bold and joyful apricot … ah, it’s just amazing.

I’ve bagged up the remainder and am getting them out of the kitchen quickly, otherwise I know what I’ll be eating for breakfast tomorrow. Ironically, Aurelia doesn’t like cookies, but she is quite the assistant standing on a chair at the counter, helping sift, stir, and taste. Two good memories today: baking with her and eating theseĀ irresistible morsels of happiness with a cup of strong coffee.

Coconut Apricot Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Operagirl at Chow

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp coconut extract (or vanilla)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped (about 24 apricot halves)

Instructions:
If you are using soft, sulfured, commercially dried apricots, you may chop them right out of the bag. If you are using home-dried, tougher, preservative-free apricots like me, you’ll want to soak them in very hot water for half an hour before draining them and chopping. So, do that first if needed.

In a medium bowl, mix the coconut oil and sugar until evenly mixed and no lumps of coconut oil remain. Add the eggs and coconut extract. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the coconut oil mixture. Next, fold in the oats, coconut, and apricots. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the cookie dough with a large cookie scoop and place on baking sheet, pressing down on each cookie mound to flatten a bit. These won’t spread much, so you can put them closer together. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until very lightly browned. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

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