dried apricot and fig almond oatmeal cookies

Dried Apricot and Fig Almond Oatmeal Cookies | A Brown Table

I decided to bake cookies in the middle of the night during the week because that is exactly what one does when their spouse is out of town. I made a happy mess, didn't tiptoe and worry about waking anyone up and I ended up cleaning the kitchen the next morning. Talk about the definition of being wild and crazy after you reach a certain age!

Dried Apricot and Fig Almond Oatmeal Cookies | A Brown Table

If you like a crispy oatmeal cookie then this cookie, is for you! It's packed with flavors and fruity bits of dried apricots and figs with each bite and a little hint of ginger too. Though my goal was to make an oatmeal cookie that was a little autumn/fall centric, you could make these cookies at anytime of the year because they use dried apricots and figs. 


You might notice here that I call for refrigerating the dough overnight before baking. This is what my dessert hero and one of my all-time favorite food personality, Alice Medrich (I do hope I get to meet her one day, she knows her desserts) says to do. It works every time and the cookies are much more flavorful and rise better.

Dried Apricot and Fig Almond Oatmeal Cookies | A Brown Table
Dried Apricot and Fig Almond Oatmeal Cookies | A Brown Table

dried apricot and fig almond oatmeal cookies

yields: 24-30 cookies


3 cups (9 1/2 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats

2 cups (5 ounces) almond flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3/4  (5 7/25 ounces) cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

4 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( I used Madagascar Bourbon vanilla)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) dried apricots, chopped

1 cup (3 3/8 ounces) dried figs, chopped

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients from the oats to the ginger powder. Whisk a few times until evenly combined. Reserve two tablespoons and keep aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes. Beat in one egg at a time and continue to cream the mixture. Add the milk, vanilla and lemon zest and mix until combined for about a minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer. 

3. Toss the chopped apricots and figs in a small bowl with the two tablespoons of the dried mixture reserved from step 1. Keep aside.

4. Add the dry oatmeal-almond mixture from step 1 to the wet mixture in the bowl and stir until combined. Fold in the apricots and figs from step 3 until completely combined. Bring the dough to form a large ball and cover this cookie dough with cling film. Refrigerate the dough overnight.

5. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mold the cookies with the palms of your hand. (I prefer to wet my hands in a little water so it won't stick as much). Form cookies that are approximately 1 inch in diameter. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cookies turn golden brown, turing the sheet halfway through during baking. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely and store in airtight container.




chai stone fruit oat bran brown betty

chai stone fruit oat bran betty

I ate a lot of fruit as a kid, I would have gladly skipped a meal to eat fresh fruit. Not that I was a fussy kid when it came to food but I think it probably frustrated the heck out of my poor mother. In Bombay, the weather is generally warm year round and there is always an abundance of some delicious seasonal sort of fruit. Unfortunately, unless you had your own farm or your own fruit tree, you really didn't have much of an opportunity to pick fruit fresh of the tree. Believe me I tried, either the trees were to tall or too high to try partake in any such activities and my parents didn't trust me enough to climb up a tree and come down safely in one piece. 

stone fruit

To fill the void left behind by childhood, I started filling up my adulthood with trips to farms. So a couple of weekends ago, we took a trip to one of the farms up in Brentwood, CA to pick fruit. Here in California, stone fruit are currently in full swing, they're literally falling of the trees with no one to pick them up (especially when I look with envy at some of the gardens here).

These trips to the orchards have taught me a couple of things, one, we need to get one of those little wagon/trolleys to haul our stuff while we walk across the orchard and two, both M and I need to consider picking up less fruit. Though, one great outcome of having too much fruit, is the chance for me to can stuff which is fun but I honestly just don't want to can gallons. 

Snoopy fruit picking

We came across so many different varieties of plums, apricots, including pluots, that I was tempted to indulge in every possible shape and color available. Each and everyone of these varieties had a different taste and texture that made each one special (yes, I tried everything). At first, I thought perhaps, I should use one type of fruit in the recipe, in the end I decided that why not just mix things them all up and have some fun! 

I've made an apple brown betty redux before and this time I wanted to apply the same concept to the stone fruit we collected. I used oat bran for the base this time and flavored it with chai. This is my new summer breakfast pick-me-up and it's one of those easy recipes without any fuss. There just enough oat bran to balance the sweet and sour flavors of the stone fruit, I ate half of this directly from the pan but I also ended up topping some of it on top of plain Greek yogurt for a snack. Baking concentrates the flavors in the fruit so it's a burst of sweet and tart flavors against the background of the cardamom flavored chai oat bran. 

baked stone fruit oat bran betty1

chai stone fruit oat bran brown betty

yields: 2-4 servings


1 cup water

1 tablespoon black tea leaves (I used the Darjeeling variety)

1  1/2 lbs mixed stone fruit (I used plums, apricots, and pluots)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup (2 ounces) raw brown sugar 

1/4 teaspoon ground green cardamom seeds

1 cup (5 3/4 ounces) oat bran 

1. Bring the water to a boil on a medium-high flame. Immediately add the tea leaves, allow to boil for 30 seconds and remove from the stove. Allow to sit aside for 2 minutes, pass the liquid through a strainer. Reserve the liquid, keep warm and discard the tea leaves.

2. Wash and wipe the stone fruit clean. Remove any stalks and slice each piece of fruit into half lengthwise. Remove the seed/stone in the center. Keep the fruit aside. 

3. Place a wire rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. In a square 9X9 baking pan, pour the warm tea prepared earlier. Add the coconut oil, brown sugar, cardamom and oat bran. Mix evenly with a fork or whisk. Place the stone fruit cut-side facing upwards over the oat bran mixture. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the oat bran is cooked. The stone fruit will brown a little. Once baked, cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil and allow to sit for 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm.

Note: I recommend tasting the raw fruit first, if you find the fruit too tart then add a little more sugar to sweeten things. You could also sprinkle a little sugar before baking over the fruit.