Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Apricot Cookies start with a light, oatmeal cookie base and end with a yummy apricot jam in the center. They are best known in our family as my nan’s signature cookie and is one our favorites for sure!
Although these cookies are a family recipe, the inspiration for it originally came from a 1964 canning cookbook called “Freezing & Canning Cookbook,” published by Farm Journal in .
I made a few modern adjustments to the original recipe. I used all butter instead of the butter/shortening combination originally called for. I also replaced the addition of water with apricot jam, boosted the flavor with additional vanilla and cinnamon, and added dried apricots to the jam for the center filling.
Baker’s tips for Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Apricot Cookies:
Butter is better:
Use all butter instead of shortening for the best all-natural, homemade cookie taste. Shortening is waxy and tasteless.
For the best apricot flavor:
The best preserves of course would be homemade. However, you can always just use a good quality “All-Fruit” Apricot Spread or Preserves. To punch up the flavor of conventional preserves, add in some diced up dried apricots.
Use a combination of oats:
Use a combination of both quick oats and whole oats to provide more texture. If you only have the old-fashioned on hand, take oats and pulse into a course texture. I like to use a Cuisinart Mini-Food Chopper, then measure them out. To add even more flavor, toast the oats for 10 minutes at 350 degrees before adding them to the batter.
Combine all-purpose & bread flours:
Use a combination of regular and bread flour. By using some bread flour it will make the cookie crisp on the outside yet still remain chewy on the inside.
Always chill the dough before baking cookies:
Be sure to chill the scooped dough for 10 minutes to ensure less cookie spread.
Aluminum baking sheets are best:
Always use light-colored, aluminum cookie sheet. I use Nordic Ware aluminum 18×13 half-sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Aluminum is best for distributing and reflecting even heat during the baking process. Dark cookie sheets conduct more heat off the surface, which may lead to your baked goods to burn or darken on the edges before they are fully cooked.
To ensure an even bake:
For even browning, place only 2 cookie sheets in the oven at the same time. Place the cookie sheet horizontally and rotate them halfway through the baking process. To rotate, spin the cookie sheets around 180 degrees and also swap the cookie sheets from top to bottom and vice versa.
Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Apricot Cookies
- 1 c. unsalted butter cold
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
Add Dry Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 c. quick oats
- 1/2 c. whole oats
- 1 1/2 c. unbleached flour
- 1 c. bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
Add Remaining Ingredients:
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 T. vinegar
- 1/4 c. apricot jam
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 c. dried apricots finely diced
- 1/2 c. apricot jam
- Dice dried apricots and add to apricot jam. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix together for 3 minutes.
- Whisk together dry ingredients and add to batter.
- Add in baking soda to batter and add vinegar over the baking soda. Add apricot jam and vanilla.
- Use a medium cookie scoop and drop 8 dough balls onto baking sheets.
- Using a teaspoon, make a divet into the center of each cookie dough and place about 1/2-1 tsp. of the apricot jam mixture.
- Chill the cookie dough balls for 10 minutes.
- Bake cookies for 15-17 minutes.
- Let cookies cool and store in a container.