I deliberately put fitness in quotes, because I’m definitely not claiming that these cookies will make you fit. Overindulgence might make you want to run to the nearest fitness center, though 🙂 . This recipe is from a friend’s mother, I received a picture of a handwritten copy, so unfortunately I don’t know the source of it.
The version I made is also modified quite a bit. The original asked for several ground spices like coriander, aniseed, fennel and cardamom; although I like the original version very much, I knew I would either leave these out or replace them with something else. In the end I decided to go with cardamom only.
The original also asked for dried apricots, figs and raisins to be soaked in rum overnight. I went for apricots and cranberries; I never have rum at home, and my cupboard search came up with an unopened bottle of chai liqueur I had been gifted last Christmas. This also played a role in my decision to use cardamom only as a spice.
The last ingredient I substituted was margarine for butter. I never have margarine in the fridge – maybe the margarine was the ingredient that would have made these fitness cookies. Although the addition of alcohol would make that redundant, I guess…
So what’s the verdict? Although I really like the original version of these cookies – otherwise I wouldn’t have asked for the recipe – I like my take on them even better. You can’t tell that the fruits have been soaked in alcohol but I’m sure it contributes to the taste; you can also taste the lemon and zest as well as the cardamom.
There’s honey in these cookies, but I think it’s more for holding the other ingredients together; the cookies have a bit of sweetness (the dried cranberries were sugared) but you don’t feel like you’re biting into a sugar cookie.
The original version is a bit on the hard side, when my cookies came out of the oven they were quite soft inside, very pleasant. I assume they’ll get a little harder after a few days, but then again they might not last that long 😀 .
These cookies taste fabulous warm from the oven, so don’t wait until they’re completely cooled down – just don’t eat them all, otherwise… fitness center…
Note: Seeing as they contain alcohol, you might not want to feed these cookies to children!
75 g unsweetened dried apricots
75 g sweetened dried cranberries
125 g unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp honey
225 g fine oatmeal
2 tbsp flour
4 g vanilla sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom (ground whole, i.e. incl. shells)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of ½ lemon
Chop the dried fruits and soak in chai liqueur, covered, overnight.
In a large bowl, mix together softened butter, eggs and honey. [This will look curdled but is how it should be.]
Add all other ingredients and stir well [I used an electric whisk.]
Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F.
Using a teaspoon, set little heaps on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Slightly flatten the heaps but not completely.
Bake on middle shelf for 15 – 20 minutes. [With the amount of cookies this made, I baked 2 sheets, both took 18 minutes.]