Lately my mom has been talking a lot about the summers she spent with her grandmother, who I knew as Mamaw. I’ve heard all about the wigs she used to wear, the way she sang in the choir at church every Sunday despite not being able to carry a tune in a bucket and, of course, all about the delicious food she used to make — most especially, her Apricot Cookies.

Momma could not stop talking about those cookies. She described them using just about every good food word out there: moist, golden, balanced, perfectly sweet. She had my mouth watering just thinking about them, so I asked her for the recipe. I planned to make us a batch.

Only, she didn’t have the recipe. Every family has a few long-loved dishes that are lost to time. This was ours.

When I heard that, I decided that I couldn’t let it stand. Momma wanted those cookies something fierce and she’s always made sure I got what I wanted. I wasn’t about to give up on doing the same for her. So we got started making our own version of Mamaw’s Apricot Cookies.

She described to me exactly how they used to taste and I set to work recreating the recipe based on that description. It took us about four different tries to get something that felt true to her memory. Then we made it again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.

It wasn’t.

We recreated a food memory straight from my Momma’s childhood and, I have to tell you, the cookies are delicious. It was worth every attempt just to taste them.

Want to make your own? Here’s what you need:

♦ 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

♦ 1 cup brown sugar

♦ 1/4 cup white sugar

♦ 1 egg yolk

♦ 2 tablespoons milk

♦ 1 teaspoon vanilla

♦ 1 3/4 cup flour

♦ 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

♦ 1/2 teaspoon salt

♦ 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

♦ 1/2 cup dried dates, chopped

Here’s how to make them:

Cream together softened, unsalted butter, brown sugar and white sugar using a stand mixer. Add the egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Continue mixing. Then, blend in the dry ingredients slowly. Fold in the chopped, dried fruit last.

Use an ice cream scoop to scoop 1-inch dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Be sure to leave space for some spreading. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly toasted and golden around the edges.

Allow to cool completely before removing the cookies from the baking sheet.

Kelcey Caulder is a reporter for the Calhoun Times. She was born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia. After spending the last three years in Los Angeles, she’s pretty stoked to be back in the South, where the food is good and the people are friendly. You can email her at KCaulder@CalhounTimes.com.

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