Earlier today @sumudu posted a picture of some oatmeal cookies his daughter made and it brought back a bunch of memories of being in the kitchen with my mother a quarter century ago, making different kinds of cookies and seeing which ones people enjoyed the most1. Several years later, when I was living in Vancouver, I was out with friends and a cookie shop beckoned me to spend money. Inside there was the standard fare such as chocolate chip, double-chocolate chip, and even a double-double chocolate chip2. What caught my attention, though, was an oatmeal cookie that had cranberries and apricot. In Vancouver, a treat like this is called a "breakfast cookie".
As one would expect, I picked up several.
A couple years ago when I started compiling recipes from family to use in my own kitchen, I remembered this cookie and went looking for a comparable recipe online. The recipes I tried weren't quite the same but, with some experimentation, I think I landed on a pretty close facsimile.
- 110g unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup)
- ⅔ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup plain flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ - ½ tsp sea salt, to taste
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup dried apricots, diced
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- Line a pair of trays with baking paper
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until combined
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth
- Turn the mixer onto a low speed, and add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and oats, just until everything sticks together
- Stir in the apricots and cranberries
- Use a tablespoon to scoop TimBit®-sized3 balls of dough on the prepared trays
- Flatten the dough just a bit
- Refrigerate the trays for about 30 minutes, which ensures the cookies bake up thick
- Several minutes into the chilling time, preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F)
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until the edges are golden and the centres still soft
This will make about 14 decent-sized cookies and the house will smell absolutely delectable. The last time I made these — about a year ago — the neighbours across the street came over to see what was in the oven. They were surprised to find that I was the one baking the cookies and they were more surprised when they had one. Oatmeal is not very popular in Japan for some reason, but the batch of treats I made didn't make it to the end of the next day.
I may just need to set a reminder to make these in the autumn when cranberries are not priced into the stratosphere.
Everyone seemed to love the sugar cookies the most, though I was always a fan of the crunchy peanut butter cookies. Mum put a stop to these after a while, though, because peanut butter started getting quite expensive in the mid-90s.
This was named after the excessively sweet, excessively creamy Tim Horton's coffee order that was so popular at the time. It was a milk chocolate chip cookie made with coffee. At around $3 per cookie, I never tried it.
A TimBit® would be the "donut holes" sold at Tim Horton's. These would be about 3cm in diameter, give or take.