Maple Apricot Hermit Cookies
A cookie jar must! Bread flour and a bit of extra mixing give these apricot-studded hermits their signature chewy texture. Vegan with non-dairy milk option.
Hi everybody, and happy Friday! Today is even more special than most Fridays, because we are lucky enough to have a beautiful guest post from the incredibly talented and super-sweet Katie Webster, who blogs at Healthy Seasonal Recipes.
I had the pleasure of meeting Katie just about a year ago, at a local food bloggers’ conference. She was born and raised in the Philly area, so we had that instant connection! The more I got to know her, the more impressed I became. She’s truly a superstar, and an incredible inspiration! Besides running her blog, she keeps busy teaching all sorts of fitness classes, plus she’s mom to two sweet little girls. They moved up to Vermont a few years back, and living there has inspired her to write a book! It’s called Maple: 100 sweet & savory recipes featuring pure maple syrup. One hundred! Just incredible.
I feel pretty privileged to be able to say that I’ve had a sneak peek at the book. It’s absolutely stunning, and just brimming with recipes I’m dying to try. I could go on and on, but instead, why don’t I just let you and Katie get to know each other a little bit!
Thanks so much for having me today Allie! When considering which recipe to share with you all for this guest post, it didn’t take me long to land on the Maple Apricot Hermit Cookies. This being a baking blog I knew I’d have to share one of my favorite baking recipes.
And I mean, how could I not share the hermit cookies? Hermit cookies are practically synonymous with the goodness awaiting my taste buds inside the cookie jars of my youth! They are the comfort food of cookies. Did I really need to think to hard about it? Not really.
Add to that the photos I took of them never ran in the book, so I thought it would be fun to share an exclusive peek at them right here!
First a little background about the book. I am a Philly-born girl turned Vermonter who now fully embraces the Vermont tradition of back yard maple syrup making.
So much so that I actually don’t mind spring in Vermont anymore.
Maple has become our go-to all-natural sweetener for pretty much all our cooking. I love the maple flavor it adds to the recipe, and I love knowing that it is an unrefined sugar. And that we make it ourselves!
Over the years, I have discovered that maple goes way beyond something you drizzle over pancakes. It works in all sorts of recipes, from Pad Thai to Ice Cream!
That’s how I came up with the idea for this cookbook, Maple. Like the sub head says, it is a collection of 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup.
Through the testing process of these 100 maple recipes, some were easier than others. These maple apricot hermit cookies were not one of the easy recipes to perfect. Truth be told they were a little bit like a feisty toddler who has just learned the word no. No I will not be chewy. No I will not hold together. No I will not bake evenly. I was determined to win though. I baked and tested batch after batch.
I think part of the problem was that I have such a clear idea in my head of the perfect texture of a hermit cookie. First and foremost, they have to be chewy, right? And they have to have spice, and they have to be moist but not too tender.
Add to that, I was using maple syrup to sweeten the recipe instead of a traditional hermit cookie recipe, which would call for a blend of molasses and white sugar. Since maple syrup is liquid it can do all sorts of strange things to baking recipes. I have found that a good rule of thumb for using it instead of white sugar is to decrease other liquids in the recipe by 3 tablespoons for every cup of maple used in the recipe.
I also stumbled over the flour. The apricots kept falling to the bottom of the batter. And the cookies were too cakey. Like most of my baking recipes I call for some sort of wholegrain four. In this case I used white whole wheat for it’s mild flavor. I ended up finding the best texture when I tested the recipe with a blend of the whole wheat and bread flour. They were much more chewy and the apricots stayed put.
Final hermit cookie perfection came when I decided to dust the top with crunchy turbinado sugar. It gave them that classic hermit sparkle and crunch. Success!
Hope you all enjoy them! And please come visit and say hello on my blog sometime or you can find me procrastinating on Social Media way more than I’d like to admit.
Isn’t that great? Such a beautiful recipe and so perfect for this time of year.
I’m so glad I could introduce you guys to Katie today! I told you it was gonna be special 🙂 Now that we’re all friends, make sure you go follow her on social media so you can keep up. You’ll love seeing her healthy, seasonal recipes in your feed!
Have a great weekend, everybody!
Katie Webster is a self-proclaimed food nerd and culinary artist who focuses on healthy eating and cooking with locally sourced seasonal ingredients. She creates delicious visual & edible content for food businesses with a big appetite for better marketing. She lives in Vermont, deep in a stand of maple trees. Her family taps their trees every spring to make pure maple syrup. Visit her at HealthySeasonalRecipes.com.
This post contains affiliate sales links.
Maple Apricot Hermit Cookies
- 1 cup (125 g) bread flour
- 1/2 cup (60 g) white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- 1 cup (130 g) chopped dried apricots
- 3/4 cup (21 g) maple sugar*
- 1/2 cup (112 ml) avocado or organic canola oil
- 1/3 cup (112.33 ml) unsulphered molasses
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) reduced fat milk,, almondmilk, or soymilk
- 4 teaspoons turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a large bowl until combined.
- Stir in apricots. Set aside.
- Whisk maple sugar, oil, molasses, and milk in a separate medium bowl.
- Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until fully combined.
- Continue mixing for 50 strokes.
- Scrape into prepared pan, spreading batter evenly with a spatula and ensuring apricots are equally distributed.
- Bake 24 to 28 minutes, until cookie is puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Let cool completely before cutting into 24 squares.
- Layer hermit cookies in between pieces of parchment paper inside a resealable container, and store at room temperature for 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.