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Rusk cookie with apricots

Posted by on 20 August, 2016
Zuid Afrika rusks variatie 0811 copy

Rusk cookie with apricots

My large cookie tin with rusks was emptied amazingly fast for such a simple and not too sweet cookie. In South African shops you can find so many different variations of the rusk. Supermarket shelves are filled with rusks made with nuts, seeds, dried fruits, chocolate, raisins, coconut, granola and flax seed. I liked the ones with dried fruit in them the most. It is always nice to find a little chewy piece in this crumbly cookie. The quality of dried fruits in South Africa is wonderful and next to the cookie shelves you will often find an extensive section with the best – often semi-dried – fruits. I bought a box with a selection of 3 different types of peaches, the best dried pears I have ever eaten and a bag of big fat apricots. For my variation I chopped some of these apricots and walnuts coarsely and kneaded them through the dough with the pumpkin and fennel seeds. Cutting these rusks is slightly trickier. They become quite crumbly after the first bake so use a good sharp knife.


Rusk cookie with apricots

for about 40 cookies

500 g (4 cups) self-raising flour
175 g (¾ cups + 2 tbs) sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
125 g (1 stick + 1 tbs) cold butter, diced
250 ml (1 cup + 1 tbs) buttermilk
1 egg
40 g (½ cup) dried apricots, roughly chopped
40 g (½ cup) walnuts, roughly chopped
20 g (¼ cup) pumpkin seed
2 tsps fennel seeds

Preheat the oven to 175°C / 350°F. Mix the flour with the sugar, salt and baking powder.

Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips.

Beat the egg with the buttermilk. Add to the bowl with the nuts, seeds and apricots and mix into a sticky dough.

Line a baking tin 20 x 20 cm / 8 x 8 inch with baking paper. Grease your hands a little using sunflower oil and make oval balls of approximately 5 x 2 x 2 cm. Put them in the pan and bake in the middle of the oven about 30 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 160°C / 320°F and bake for another 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cut loose the pieces. Cut each piece in half horizontally and vertically so that you end up with nice little rectangles. Turn the oven temperature down to 100°C / 200°F. Place the rusks on a rack and allow to dry in the oven for 3-4 hours or until they are hard and crispy. Leave the oven door slightly ajar so that moisture can escape. If that is not possible, open the door every 15 minutes to let out the moisture. Remove the rusk cookies from the oven and cool on rack.

This post is also available in: Dutch

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