Friday, December 22, 2006

When it's time to change...

you can rearrange the shape of your cookies. (I'm struggling with the Internet today, so if this finally gets posted, I'll be very happy.)

Last year I posted a recipe for Double Ginger Drop Cookies, which could also be made slice-and-bake. I don't know if the weather this year is different, or what, but the dough we ended up with this time wasn't droppable--it was more of a roll-in-balls texture. So that's what we did--rolled the dough in balls, squished them down with a fork (same as peanut butter cookies), and then drizzled the cookies with glaze after they were baked and sitting on the cooling rack. (I moistened icing sugar with just enough milk to make it drizzle; the recipe calls for additional ginger in the glaze, but it's optional. Orange juice might be nice, though.) I really like the way they turned out and I'll probably do it the same way next year! (Unless they suddenly turn into drop cookies again?)

Today we're pretty much finished with cookie baking, and we have a couple of packages of favourite boughten kinds (note to Ruth Beechick: sometimes we still say boughten around here) to fill in with. But I did want to make one batch of Lillian Kayte's Chocolate Apricot Confections, a recipe from Vegetarian Times. The part I like about them is that they're mostly just running things through the food processor; the part I've never liked is rolling them into balls! The mixture tends to be pretty messy.

So when we got to the "gloop" part, I suddenly realized how much the mixture looked like those oatmeal stove-top cookies my grandma made. The ones with all kinds of names: Macaroons. Funeral Cookies. I knew someone who called them Cow Pies. So instead of rolling them into balls (and then into crumbs or ground oatmeal, because my kids really hate things that are rolled in plain cocoa), I just plopped them onto waxed paper and chilled them. I think they're going to work fine. Not as much fun, but three fewer pairs of messy hands.

Here's the recipe. I also found it online here, with (strangely enough) some more adaptations and substitutions. (Note that they're very low fat if that's important to you.)

Chocolate-Apricot Confections (Vegetarian Times, January 1994)

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (chips work fine)
1/2 cup apple juice
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 cup chopped dried apricots (you don't have to pre-chop them, they can go in the food processor with the bran flakes)
2 1/2 cups bran flakes cereal, with or w/out raisins
1/2 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar, confectioner's sugar)
Unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (optional: for rolling)

Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Stir in apple juice and corn syrup. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine apricots, bran flakes and powdered sugar, and process until very finely chopped. Combine with chocolate mixture and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes. (This is the point where I plopped them on waxed paper, before setting aside.)

With a small spoon, form mixture into 1/2 - 1 inch balls. Roll balls in cocoa powder or other coating (icing sugar, cookie crumbs). Store in covered container in refrigerator for several days before serving to develop flavors. Makes 48 1-inch balls.

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