Apricot Crunch Cookies & a Chocolate Ticket Giveaway

It was chance (and my sweet radar) that had me discover what is quickly becoming one of my top ten favorite cookie recipes. Here’s how it happened… I was at The Dolder Grand, Zürich’s classiest luxury 5-star hotel, set high above the city center.  I was meeting with Pastry Chef Lars Hellenbrand, a kind, passionate and devoted chef, discussing his participation at the 3rd annual Salon du Chocolat in April. I could not be happier that he and Kathrin Holzer will be doing a demo in our Culinary Theater. It’s sure to be a highlight during one of the sweetest weekends in Switzerland (April 4-6, 2014).

Desserts at the Dolder Grand, ZürichDesserts at the Dolder Grand, Zürich

As Lars gave me a tour of the kitchens, all I kept thinking was how lost I would get in this labyrinth of stations.  And then it caught my eye – one lonely plate of small round balls of dough.  As Lars kept walking, I hurriedly tried to keep up with him, but was totally distracted.  “Hey, what was that ?”  Were those cookies ?!”  And so it began.  In a word, yes, they were cookies they make only for the spa.  And that was it.

Fast forward two months and I have since had a cookie baking date with Lars… and got the recipe for us all !  But first, more about Lars and Kathrin’s demo at the Salon du Chocolat, one that promises to be fascinating to watch and delicious to taste.  Take a look for yourself, here’s the dessert that they will be making: a gorgeous presentation of chocolate mousse, passion fruit and banana sorbet with a praline tuile on top.  Each component is carefully selected and given its place on the plate.  Those of us at the Salon du Chocolat on Saturday, April 5th at 12pm will have forks in hand, ready to taste !  I’ll be backstage with my clipboard, walky talky… and fork too !

Desserts at the Dolder Grand, ZürichDesserts at the Dolder Grand, ZürichDesserts at the Dolder Grand, ZürichDesserts at the Dolder Grand, Zürich

It wasn’t long after I left the Dolder that I was at the Coop with a list of ingredients in my pocket: dried apricots, pistachios, coconut, hazelnuts, raisins and cornflakes.  After tasting Lars’ Apricot Crunch Cookies, I could not wait to make a batch of my own.  They are packed with flavor, sweet and fruity, have an irresistible crunch – from the cornflakes as well as an ultra light, crisp exterior – and stay moist and chewy on the inside. While I tend to favor cookies that are slightly underbaked, the key to these cookies is just the opposite.  Don’t take them out just as they start to get golden.  Let them brown a bit more and they will live up to their name.  And while I continue to call them “spa cookies,” don’t be misled.  They may pack a vitamin-heavy punch with all of those colorful fruits, and happen to be chocolate free, but they certainly do have their fair share of butter and sugar.

Cookies at the Dolder Grand, ZürichCookies at the Dolder Grand, ZürichCookies at the Dolder Grand, ZürichCookies at the Dolder Grand, Zürich

Last but not least, not only do I have the recipe (below), but I also have tickets to Zürich’s Salon du Chocolat to give away !  Ten lucky winners will be able to watch Lars and Kathrin’s demo on Saturday, April 5th (or attend on Friday or Sunday, of course).  Simply let us know your favorite cookie – to bake or simply to eat (just the name is fine or links are more than welcome).  The winners will be selected by the same method as last year – my trusty assistant picking numbers !  And for the one reader who shares a recipe that has me wanting to run into the kitchen to bake, I’ll be sending you a special invitation to the VIP inaugural event, the private opening on Thursday evening, April 3rd.  I’ll announce the winners in the comments below on Monday, March 31st.

So let’s hear those cookie recipes !

Cookies at the Dolder Grand, ZürichCookies at the Dolder Grand, ZürichCookies at the Dolder Grand, ZürichCookies at the Dolder Grand, Zürich

Be sure to check out the full schedule of demos and conferences at the Salon du Chocolat, and start planning your visit ! Looking forward to seeing you there !  And if you spot me (surely running around), say hello =)

Salon du Chocolat Zürich

Friday April 4 to Sunday April 6
Everyday 10am-7pm
Messe Zürich, Halle 3
Wallisellenstrasse 49, Oerlikon

Adults: CHF 18
Children (6-12 years old): CHF 9
Children under 6: free
tickets will be available at the Messe and can also be purchased in advance here


Apricot Crunch Cookies

* This is my adaptation of the “spa cookie” by Pastry Chef Lars Hellenbrand at The Dolder Grand in Zürich. I made a few changes, namely using less sugar and no alcohol. A few suggestions from the original recipe: soak the raisins in rum and add lightly roasted hazelnuts or macadamia nuts.

250 grams butter
200 grams raw cane sugar
3 large eggs (~160 grams)
125 grams shredded coconut
125 grams raisins
180 grams dried apricots (orange), diced
50 grams cranberries
50 grams pistachios, lightly roasted
150 grams cornflakes
250 grams white flour
37 grams baking powder

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs, one by one, until combined. Whisk flour and baking powder together in a small bowl and add to batter. While continuously mixing, add the remaining ingredients except the cornflakes. Combine well. Incorporate the cornflakes at the end to avoid turning them into crumbs. Let cookie dough sit in refrigerator for at least 2 hours (if possible).

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Scoop balls of dough and roll in open palms, flatten on baking sheet with inside of palm. Bake for about 15 minutes, allowing cookies to brown in oven.  Remove and let cool before tasting.

40 Responses to “Apricot Crunch Cookies & a Chocolate Ticket Giveaway”

  1. Heddi says:

    Hi Kerrin, Thanks for the recipe! Will have to try and work out a dairy-free version… Best of luck with Salon du Chocolat this year. I’m sure it will be a huge success. Very much enjoyed my visit to the event last year. Take care, Heddi

  2. Cheryl Korwin says:

    Looks quite yummy! Sent it to Tyler who loves to bake.

  3. Dana says:

    The snickerdoodle!

  4. Catherine says:

    Lucky you! The Dolder Grand is one of my favorite spots in Zurich, so beautiful. I’ve got simple tastes when it comes to cookies and good old chocolate chip is my favorite, definitely slightly underbaked 🙂

  5. Yeye says:

    Those cookies look so crunchy outside and so soft inside. I love this combination!
    All the best of luck for finalizing the Salon du Chocolat! I’m sure it will be a HUGE success, like the previous one I attended in 2013! Thanks Kerrin, as always …

  6. Debbie D says:

    Hard to choose one cookie over the other but I would have to say probably chocolate chip and the 1500 variations of them. However, a great soft ginger cookie is also fabulous!

  7. Kerrin says:

    Heddi, thanks so much ! I’ll keep my eye out for that dairy free version, can’t wait. Really glad you enjoyed this year – hope you’ll come again this year too.

    Catherine, me too ! Classic chocolate chip cookie is totally my fave. And underbaked, of course, mmmm. Got milk ? 🙂

    Debbie D, at least 1500 right ?! 😉 I love soft ginger cookies too, if they’re not too spicy. Good picks !

  8. Elisa Bieg says:

    That apricot cookie recipe sounds like something I should bake with Stella! She loves baking.

    My favorite cookie is a black and white chocolate cookie with macadamia nuts that I used to get at the first Starbucks that opened in Zurich. Sarah used to love them when she was little, so we would sometimes pop in with my friend and her little boy while on playdates just to get some of those cookies!

    When I moved to Westchester I could get similar ones in Whole Foods. I’ve only made them once myself, and I used a recipe that was more or less like this one: http://www.sunspire.com/recipe/dark-white-chocolate-macadamia-cookies only without the ginger and using spelt flour.

  9. Lani says:

    I have written down the recipe and do want to make it immediately! Right up my alley! I can’t wait to attend the Salon Du Chocolat in Zurich. The last one I attended was in New York City! It was full of wonderful tastes and great booths to explore. I know that it will be such fun and a great success!

  10. Marlen says:

    Dear Kerrin,
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. I have just added it to the very top of my pile of recipes to try out soon. Can’t wait to taste these.
    Congratulations to another edition of the Salon du Chocolat in Zurich. It will surely be another huge success.
    As for my favourite cookie recipe, I don’t think I can pick just one 🙂 Hope it’s ok to name more than one: chewy ginger, snickerdoodle, Mailänderli, Totenbeinli, and all of Jack’s Italian cookie recipes. Hm, do you think I have a sweet tooth? 😉

  11. karin@yumandmore says:

    Interesting cookies Kerrin! any thoughts on replacing the coconut with something else? maybe oats? my husband hates dried coconut and these cookies are tempting!

  12. Rosa says:

    Lovely cookies and beautiful desserts!



  13. Kerrin says:

    Elisa, how fun to hear that Stella loves baking – I can’t wait to bake with Chloé !! Those black and white chocolate cookies look fantastic, thanks so much for sharing the recipe. And awesome for cookie play dates.

    Marlen, thanks very much for your comment. And for your delicious list of favorite cookies. Yes, of course, a sweet tooth like me !

    Karin, hmmm, replacing the coconut in here may be possible, but I think you’ll lose the light crisp texture that makes them so good. Oats could work, would make for a very chewy cookie, that’s for sure. I’ll ask the pastry chef what he thinks and let you know. Stay tuned…

  14. Sarah says:

    favourite… Difficult, maybe you noticed that we Swiss mainly have “cookie-season” during the holidays (which I think is a shame – MORE cookies for Switzerland please!)
    Anyway – if go the “traditional” way, then “Anise Cookies” otherwise some chocolate chunk cookies! AND even better – raw chocolate dough 🙂

  15. Gerson says:

    Dark Chocolate with White Chocolate Chunks 🙂

  16. Patrick says:

    dark chocolate with mint-flavour

  17. Jean says:

    Hi Kerrin! I just wanted to say that I’ve been following your blog ever since I landed in Zurich and it’s led me on so many great chocolate discoveries. 🙂

    As for my favorite cookie, it’s probably Anna’s Ginger Thins. I do love my ginger cookies. I haven’t yet had a chance to make my own, but I’ve had a hankering to try out this recipe: http://bakedbree.com/best-ginger-cookies-ever.

    I’m super excited about the Salon du Chocolat and seeing all these amazing masters under one roof!

  18. Kirsty says:

    My favourite are apple cinnamon cookies!

  19. Anne-lyse says:

    I love cookies in every form, especially made with salted butter! But my favorite of all must be the savoury version that i can have as a morning snack, aperos or just when there are some left: bacon and dry prunes cookie with a bit of parmesan.

  20. Kerrin says:

    Karin, I spoke to the pastry chef and he said you can absolutely replace oats in the recipe for coconut. But of course it would be totally different. Instead, he shared his recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies… which I’m going to email you now ! It has orange zest, walnuts and chocolate chips in it too. Yum !

    Sarah, I totally know what you mean about “cookie season” here. Just like there’s definitely fondue season too in Switzerland 😉 But cookies… they are in season all year round !

    Jean, thanks so much for sharing, love hearing that !! And thanks for the link too !

    Anne-lyse, yes to salted butter ! I have never baked savory cookies though. Yours certainly wins for originality – bacon and prune cookies with parmesan ?! Wow !

  21. Leeanne says:

    Favorite cookie? COWBOY COOKIE!!! Hope you’re doing awesomely well, Kerrin dear!

  22. Eleanor Low says:

    Cranberry and white chocolate cookies.. yum 🙂

  23. Renata C says:

    OF COURSE! Apricot Crunch Cookies!

  24. Yash Agarwal says:

    Many, but I would say white chocolate chips, fudge chips and dark chocolate chip are on the top of the list.

  25. Margaret says:

    Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (preferably with just the right amount of cinnamon)! The oatmeal makes them healthy 😉

  26. Kerry says:

    Being English I like biscuits and my favourite is the Jaffa cake ????which I can’t make.
    I am not adverse to American style cookies and enjoy a simple dark chocolate chip

  27. tomato says:

    Nutella Dream Cookies!!

    Chocolate + Nutella + Cocoa…. what a combination, right?


    cannot get “chocolate-y” than this!

  28. Kerrin says:

    Leeanne, oooooh, cowboy cookies !! YES. 🙂 And yes to doing awesomely well too, thanks so much. Hope all is fabulous – and sweet – in Zug !

    Renata C., HAHA, perfect answer !

    Kerry, never tasted Jaffa cakes, but now I sure am curious… 😉

    tomato, right ? RIGHT ! Definitely can’t get more chocolately than that. Thanks so much for sharing the link above. Just checked it out – wooh.

  29. Brigitte says:

    My favorite cookie is the Wiener Kipferl with a soft vanilla flavour. And Chocolate cookies, of course 🙂

  30. Jeannette says:

    It may sound boring but I LOVE a great chocolate chip cookie! Lately I’ve been following this recipe (http://notwithoutsalt.com/2009/01/28/the-last-chocolate-chip-cookie/) and I totally agree with Ashley: “My perfect cookie is varied in texture. The exterior rim, the color of golden brown sugar, is perfectly crisp. Beyond the crunch there lies varying levels of chewy gooey-ness.” Her recipe will get you exactly that!
    Would love to visit the Salon du Chocolat again, I wasn’t around last year and I really missed it.

  31. Marlen says:

    Dear Kerrin, that pastry chef seems to have more great cookie recipes up his sleeve… 🙂 Would it be possible to share that oatmeal cookie recipe with the rest of us as well?

  32. Kevin says:

    I love a good chocolate cookies, and the opus by Kenji of Serious Eats is hard to beat – it’s infinitely customisable, and I’ve them both the normal way and another time with a hodgepodge of ingredients like pretzel bits, nuts and chocolate and both were seriously good!


  33. Bernadette Strasser says:

    wuuhuuu–i love Lars’ Aprikot-Crunch cookies! Thats my absolute favourite!!

  34. Selina Man Karlsson says:

    Hi Kerrin, Good luck with the Salon du Chocolat, looking forward to seeing you there, it’s always one of my favourite events! My favourite cookie is a chewy chocolate chip cookie. Last year, you had a French Japanese pâtissier who made this incredible matcha macaroon sandwiched between a chocolate cake, so if this is a cookie, that would be it 🙂 See you Saturday, Selina

  35. Diccon Bewes says:

    I can never resist a piece of homemade shortbread. no British tea table is complete without some.
    In fact the only thing that eats some Scottish shortbread is one with dark chocolate chips in it.

  36. Evelyn says:

    What a great combo of ingredients! One of my fav cookies during Chinese New Year (aka cookie season) are cashew nut cookies.

  37. Beth says:

    My grandmother’s recipe for “Hussern Kraffen” (Husarenkrapfen) is filled not only with special ingredients but with special memories as well!

  38. Kerrin says:

    Many thanks to everyone for sharing your favorite cookies … So many temptations above. My favorite cookie: classic chocolate chip cookie !

    I used the same process this year for selecting the winners. Writing numbers in small folded pieces of paper for each comment, excluding my replies above. Mixed up in a bowl and ten papers were then selected by my trusty assistant:

    And now, without further ado, the numbers and winners are……

    4 Catherine

    6 Debbie D.

    7 Elisa Bieg

    12 Sarah

    13 Gerson

    14 Patrick

    15 Jean

    18 Leeanne

    20 Renata C

    22 Margaret

    If everyone can please email me a mailing address as soon as possible, I will put your invitations in the mail ! kerrin [at] mykugelhopf [dot] ch

    And… I did offer a special VIP ticket to someone who had me running into the kitchen to bake. Looks like I will be baking lots of cookies soon – there’s a tie !! Jeannette and Kevin, many thanks for sharing those links above – can not wait to try those recipes. I will email you both about your tickets for Thursday night’s inauguration.

    See everyone at the Salon du Chocolat real soon ! =)

  39. Hamish Healys says:

    Wow! I’d go nuts with those apricot crunch cookies. The ones with the chocolate won’t hurt me either.

  40. Korbua P says:

    My best friend used your recipe to bake amazing and delicious cookies. I totally love them. Thank you!!!!

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