Better For You Apricot, Coconut & Plain Choc Cookies

Prep Time:15 mins, Cook Time: 15 mins, Total Time: 30 mins

January 21, 2014

Eat Your Veg | Better for you Apricot, Coconut & Plain Chocolate Cookies

It’s been a few days since my last post as I’ve been having a little time off. Time out to sort a few personals and to fully revel in a weekend away without the littlies in the fair city of Newcastle upon Tyne. A city I began my student life in over twenty years ago and on the first day of which I met eight dear lifelong friends. Seven of which I met up with this weekend for a twenty year celebration of drinking, good food and raucous banter. Josie in the far flung remote dot of an island of St Helena was excused!. Believe me in twenty years we have many a tale and happy memory between us, particularly after all the cocktails, fizz, red, white and Kazakhstani Vodka (don’t ask) of this weekend. Ouch. Here we all are outside the Student Union on Saturday afternoon.

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Twenty years on outside Newcastle Uni Students Untion

Anyway on to today’s post. I’ve stopped buying biscuits and cookies. For two reasons. Firstly I happen to possess the willpower of a gnat and cannot be trusted. And secondly I’m not fond of all the nasties in commercially produced biscuits, the host of dubious fats, sugars and additives. Once in a while yes but not as a regular treat. It all seems a little unnecessary to me. So if the kids (or I) want a sweet treat I try and bake something, and more often than not bring out some frozen pre-made cookie dough so it’s simply a matter of slicing and baking.

I’ve also been experimenting with a better for you set of ingredients in my cookie dough and these really are on the healthier end of the cookie spectrum. Using part wholemeal flour, dark brown sugar and packed full of healthy goodies like apricots, plain chocolate, hazelnuts (or other nuts), desiccated coconut and oats it’s not a bad line up eh?. And more importantly they’re truly yummy and get a firm thumbs up from the kids, making for the perfect after-school treat. And the dough can handily be made in bulk and frozen for when the cookie urge takes you. Or even just kept in the fridge for a few days.

Like most cookie dough there’s no skill involved. Just a little weighing and stirring. The latter I employ a small child to do, namely Jacques this time as his big sister was still at school. A job he’s very happy to do, especially when he gets to ‘sample’ the yummy dough and all the lovely ingredients that go into it. The amount he ate I was surprised he didn’t complain of tummy ache. Made of steal that boy.

Eat Your Veg | Better For You Apricot, Coconut & Plain Choc Cookies

I’m entering a few bloggie challenges with these cookies. Firstly to mine and Vanesther’s Family Foodies which is over at Bangers & Mash this month and features the wonderful theme of Hidden Goodies of which there are quite a few sneaked into these cheeky little cookies! Next to Four Seasons Food which I host along with Anneli, this month we’re going all Virtuous and I think these just about qualify, at least in the cookie world anyway. To Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen and for her inaugural co-hosting month by the lovely Janie over at the even lovelier Hedgecombers blog. This month’s TTT theme is Eggs. And last but not least to the One Ingredient challenge, hosted by Laura and this month by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen with the theme of Healthy.

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The Good Stuff:

Wholemeal Flour, Oats, Coconut, Plain Chocolate, Apricot, Hazelnuts



Great For:

Toddlers, Pre-Schoolers, Big Kids, Grown Ups, Breakfast on the go, Elevensies, Packed Lunches, Picnics, After-School Treats, Afternoon Tea, Healthier Baking, Making with Kids, Making Ahead, Freezing



Notes:

Makes 15 to 20 small cookies, double up for a larger batch.
The dough keeps well in the fridge for a few days or can be frozen for a later almost instant sweet treat.



Special Equipment:

A baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper



Better For You Apricot, Coconut & Plain Choc Cookies

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Ingredients Prep Time:15 mins, Cook Time: 15 mins, Total Time: 30 mins

75g wholemeal flour
75g plain flour
150g dark soft brown sugar
90g oats
90g desiccated coconut
80g dried apricots, roughly diced
80g hazelnuts, or pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
75g plain chocolate, cut into small chunks
125g butter, melted for a few moments in a microwave
2 medium eggs, free range

1) Preheat your oven to 190º/170ºc fan/gas mark 5 if wanting to bake immediately
2) Sift together the flours into a bowl and stir in the sugar
3) Stir in the oats, coconut, apricots, nuts and chocolate chunks
4) In another bowl melt the butter for a few moments in a microwave, allow to cool a little before lightly whisking in the eggs
5) Pour the butter and eggs into the dry mixture and thoroughly mix, with your hands is best (or those of an eager small child)
6) Dollop the mixture onto a length of cling film in a rough sausage shape. Roll the cling film around the mixture and roll around a little until a firm sausage shape is achieved
7) If baking now slice the cookie dough into 1 cm thick rounds and place spread out on a lined baking tray. Flatten each cookie a little with the back of a fork
If baking later keep for a few days in the fridge or up to 3 months in a freezer
8) Place the baking tray in the hot oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown

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29 thoughts on “Better For You Apricot, Coconut & Plain Choc Cookies

  1. Choclette

    Ahh, my sort of baking. I’m always amazed when I eat bought biscuits at just how sweet they are. One of the big advantages of home baking is you can control the amount of sugar that goes in and be sure in the knowledge there are no hidden nasties. As you know I’m a keen advocate of wholemeal flour and always use it in my baking – I like the more interesting texture it brings and it has a better flavour too. These sound absolutely scrumptious – such a tempting list of ingredients. I’m looking forward to the days of Jacques, master baker.

    Reply
    1. Louisa

      Ha ha I have high hopes for the lad! Actually it’s all very odd that he’s never been overtly encouraged but loves all things kitchen, baking, cooking and foodie. I’ve cut out biscuits a few times in the past and when I’ve occasionally slipped find them so horribly sweet and unpleasant. Making your own is definitely the way forward, especially when you can make the dough and bake when the sweet cravings commence.

      Reply
    1. Louisa

      Me too funnily enough. I hardly ever bake or cook with them but when I do, find myself gobbling down half a packet! And they work really well with the plain choccie in these cookies.

      Reply
  2. Vanesther

    I love the fact these cookies are so virtuous. It means I’ll be able to eat as many as I want, guilt-free! Another great entry for this month’s Family Foodies challenge, thanks for sharing Louisa.

    Reply
    1. Louisa

      Thanks Vanesther. I don’t think any cookies are particularly virtuous but these are about as good as they can get! Thus definitely guilt free in my book.

      Reply
    1. Louisa

      Thanks Nazima, there’s deliberately very little chocolate in these but just enough to satisfy the choccie urge. They’ve featured quite a few times in Jacques’s lunchbox!

      Reply
  3. Karen

    I DO so love your family photos Lou and the recipe is not bad too! Another great recipe that would be fab for the school lunch box as well as the tea time table! Karen

    Reply
  4. Jacqueline Meldrum

    It’s nice to have friends like that, the ones that you might no see often, but it is just the same as ever when you do. Love the cookies and Jacques is super cute as ever. I mourn the loss of Cooper’s curls. He had his hair cut at a new hairdressers and they just never grew back.

    Reply
    1. Louisa

      You’re so right Jac, wonderful to have friends like this little lot. We’re all incredibly different but bonded on our first ever day at Uni and have been exceptionally close ever since. Friends you can tell anything to and will always be there. Jacques’s has lost lots of his tighter curls but it’s still wavy. His sister had the most gorgeous curly hair until she was about two and then it all straightened out. Sad eh!

      Reply
  5. Tina @ The Spicy Pear

    These cookies look amazing, as do all the wonderful pics of Jacques cooking. He’s adorable and looks like he’s having a lot fun. I’m the same about biscuits and cookies, its not that difficult to whip up a batch when you fancy and are far less sinful then the commercial trash you can buy. That said, I do love the odd dark chocolate digestive. Good tip on the frozen cookie dough.

    Reply
  6. ManjiriK -sliceoffme

    Louisa what a delightful post ! I loved reading abt ur twenty year re-union what pure gold to have such a bunch of great friends ! and as always little Jacques photos made me smile ! I am so happy to read that you have done what I dont have the will power to do – STOP buying biscuits off the supermarket shelves! Maybe if I make ur cookies and freeze some dough I will attain much needed willpower to do just that !

    Reply

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