Techie thank-you biscuits: Chocolate and Apricot Kernel Cookies

A friend, the lovely Raf, recently performed a Lazerus upon my poor old laptop and coaxed it back to life – huzzah! It would seem that the laptop manufacturers, in their infinite wisdom, had decided to partition the model’s fairly small hard drive – and I (being a hideous technophobe) hadn’t realised this and assumed it was a RAM issue. Long story short, my laptop stuttered back into life and should totter on for a few more years.

So in return, as a thank you, I did what I am happiest doing; baked stuff! But again, I was suffering from a bare-cupboard-baking scenario. Hmmmmmmm. Oats, apricot kernels, a little bit of chocolate. Right.

But dear old Delia came to the rescue with her Chocolate Almond Crunchies recipe – which, as always, I bastardised with whatever I had in the cupboard.

Chocolate and Apricot Kernel Cookies

Ingredients
 2 oz (50 g) sweet milk chocolate
 1½ oz (40 g) Apricot Kernels
 4 oz (110 g) butter
 3 oz (75 g) demerara sugar
 1 dessertspoon golden syrup
 4 oz (110 g) self-raising flour
 pinch of salt

4 oz (110 g) porridge oats

Method

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C) and grease two baking sheets measuring 14 x 11 inches (35 x 28 cm), lightly greased with groundnut or another flavourless oil.

First of all, using a sharp knife, chop the chocolate into small chunks about ¼ inch (5 mm) square.
Now put the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan, place it on the gentlest heat possible and let it all dissolve, which will take 2-3 minutes. When the butter mixture has dissolved, take it off the heat. Meanwhile, toast the apricot kernals in a dry pan until they start to brown – as you would for almonds.

In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour and salt and add the porridge oats and half the chocolate and kernels, then give this a quick mix before pouring in the butter mixture. Now, using a wooden spoon, stir and mix everything together, then switch from a spoon to your hands to bring everything together to form a dough. If it seems a bit dry, add a few drops of cold water.

Now take half the dough and divide it into nine lumps the size of a large walnut, then roll them into rounds using the flat of your hand. Place them on a worktop and press gently to flatten them out into rounds approximately 2½ inches (6 cm) in diameter, then scatter half the remaining chocolate and almonds on top of the biscuits, pressing them down lightly.

Once you have filled one tray (give them enough room to spread out during baking), bake them on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes while you prepare the second tray. When they’re all cooked, leave them to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

The bitterness of the apricot kernels contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the chocolate, and seemed to go down very well with the intended audience 🙂

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