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Oat Cookies with Apricot and Pistachio Dukkah

Dipped in a sweet ras el hanout dukkah before baking and packed with chewy dried apricots and crunchy pistachios, these chunky oat cookies are uniquely sweet and savoury.


For me, the oat cookie is the proto-cookie of them all and it goes without saying that it has to feature in this book. This is a chunky cookie with an uneven texture and crispy surface, and is super gooey inside. Ras el hanout is a North African spice mix containing cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin, and it is commonly used in cookery. I added it because it has a distinctive nutty taste. Together with the apricot, pistachio and sweet dukkah, it’s the perfect combination of sweet, sour, piquant and full-bodied. Like a warm hug!

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230g (8oz/1 cup) butter at refrigerator temperature, diced
210g (7½oz/1 cup plus 1 tbsp) light muscovado sugar
70g (2½oz/5⅔ tbsp) caster (granulated) sugar
3g (1tsp) vailla powder or 2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
350g (12oz/2⅔ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
30g (1oz/¼ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
140g (5oz/1½ cups) rolled oats
3g (1½ tsp) ras el hanout
3g (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
5g (1⅔ tsp) baking powder
1½g (½ tsp) salt
140g (5oz) dried apricots, roughly chopped
130g (4½oz) roasted pistachios
For the dukkah:
3 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
50g (1¾oz) roasted pistachios, finely chopped
1 tsp ras el hanout
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
75g (2½oz/6 tbsp) caster (granulated sugar)
½ tsp sea salt flakes

Essential kit

You will need a food processor or stand mixer.


Combine all the dukkah ingredients in a bowl.

Add the butter to your food processor or to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on a medium speed for 15 seconds until the butter begins to break up. Add the sugars and the vanilla, then mix until the sugar has roughly combined with the butter. Scrape the butter from the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs and mix for a maximum of 20 seconds until they are just combined. Make sure you don’t mix for too long.

Combine the flours, oats, ras el hanout, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in two batches, mixing for 10–15 seconds between each batch until everything is just combined. Scrape down the base and sides of the bowl between each round of mixing.

Add the apricots and pistachios. Mix at a low speed until they are all roughly combined.

Scoop 75g (2½oz) rough balls of dough using an ice cream scoop, or roll balls using 3 tablespoons of dough. This should be enough for about 20 cookies. Dip one side of each cookie in the dukkah. Place the dough balls in a container with a lid or on a tray that you then cover with cling film (plastic wrap). Leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours – preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 190°C fan (210°C/410°F/gas 6–7).

Place the dough balls, dukkah-side up, approximately 5cm (2in) apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Bake in the middle of the oven for 9–10 minutes. Bake one sheet at a time if not using a fan oven. The cookies should have expanded a bit, risen and begun to firm, but should not have cracked.

Transfer them to a cooling rack and leave to cool for at least another 10–15 minutes.

My top tip! – Immediately after mixing, the dough will be pretty wet, but the oats will soak up some of that liquid – that’s why it’s so important to let the dough rest a while before baking.

Cookies & Crumbs by Kaja Hengstenberg (Quadrille, £16.99) Photography by Lennart Weibull

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