One way to breathe some new life into a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe is to start by adding some new mix-ins to the cookie dough. Nuts will add crunch and a little extra flavor, but adding dried fruit can really change the overall taste of the cookie. Dried cranberries, for instance, can add a sweet-tart flavor and a lot of color to cookies, while raisins add a more subtle sweetness. These Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Apricots are one of my current favorite chocolate chip cookie variations. They are packed with crunchy toasted walnuts, super-sweet dried apricots and, of course, plenty of chocolate chips.
The first thing you need to do for these cookies is to coarsely chop your walnuts and dried apricots. Both untoasted and toasted walnuts will work, but if you have toasted and lightly salted walnuts you will get the best contrast in your finished cookies. Dried apricots come in both sulphured and unsulphured versions. The sulphured apricots are always much brighter in color and they tend to be much more moist and tender. Both types of apricots will work in this recipe, though I tend to prefer using sulphured apricots personally and that is what I used in the cookies pictured here.
I included a lot of walnuts, apricots and chocolate chips in these cookies, so you will get a lot of goodies in each bite. The cookies are crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside, although a few extra minutes in the oven will make the cookies much crispier overall if you want to add some extra crunch to your batch. The walnuts and apricots go very well together, and both contrast nicely with the chocolate chips. If you want to mix up the ratios for the mix-ins used in the cookies, feel free to adjust them to suit your own tastes. This recipe makes a medium sized batch of cookies and can be doubled if you want to serve a bigger group (or just want to eat more cookies).
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Apricots
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2/3 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, then gradually blend in the flour mixture until it has almost been completely incorporated and only a few streaks of flour remain.
Add in walnuts, apricots and chocolate chips and stir until they are well-distributed in the batter.
Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cookies to allow for spread.
Bake for 11-14 minutes, until cookies are light golden brown on the edges.
Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 26-30 cookies.