These Apricot Almond Shortbread Cookies are soft and buttery cookies filled with crunchy nuts and soft dried fruit.
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
Apricot Almond Shortbread Cookies are a delicious treat that combines the rich, buttery flavor of shortbread with the sweetness of apricots and the nuttiness of almonds.
I love making apricot dessert recipes – they remind me of my grandparents!
These Apricot Almond Shortbread Cookies use classic flavors in a soft cookie recipe.
These cookies make a great homemade gift idea and are a wonderful addition to a cookie plate whether for Christmas and the holidays or in spring and summer.
For full ingredient quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Let’s talk about the ingredients you will use to make these shortbread cookies!
All Purpose Flour
Almond Flour – this will give us more almond flavor. You can also skip it (see modifications and substitutions section below).
Powdered Sugar – powdered sugar is what is going to give you a soft cookie. If you want a crunchy, harder cookie, use the same amount of granulated sugar instead.
Almonds – whole, slivered, sliced, whatever you have is fine!
Salt – we add salt with unsalted butter to better control the amount of salt that is being used!
Water – as needed to make the dough stick together
In a food processor combine the dry ingredients and pulse to mix.
Add the butter chunks across the dough and process just to combine.
The dough should hold together when you take a small handful and squeeze it. If too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it holds together. A little crumbling is okay but it should easily stick together.
Add the chopped apricots and almonds and pulse until just incorporated.
Shape the cookie dough into a log approximately 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Wrap with plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill at least 30 minutes.
Remove the saran wrap from the dough and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Place on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake at 325 for 18-20 minutes until just turning light golden brown on the bottom edges.
Cool completely on a cooling rack.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay fresh for several days.
If you want to store them for a longer period, you can freeze the baked cookies. Ensure they are well wrapped with parchment and in an air tight container or bag to prevent freezer burn.
Modifications and Substitutions
These will be soft cookies. If you want harder, crunchier cookies instead, use the same amount of granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar.
Fresh apricots fruit will add too much moisture. We want to use dried apricots for this reason.
You can replace the almond flour with more all purpose flour if desired.
You can experiment with the flavor by adding a teaspoon of almond extract to enhance the almond flavor.
Consider incorporating a Tablespoon of finely grated orange zest for a citrusy twist that complements the apricots.
Using some almond flour for flavor makes the cookies a little more delicate, and they develop a little brown crumb like texture around the bottom edge when baking. I easily removed this by brushing the bottom edge with my finger when removing from the baking sheet to cool.
Chilling the dough is KEY since there is so much butter. This helps prevent the cookies from spreading.
It is important to not use too much water! You want the dough to JUST hold together. Too much moisture will lead to cookies that spread out.
To make good shortbread cookies you want to make sure that the dough is not overmixed, that you chill the dough, and you do not add too much moisture to the dough.
Yes, you want to chill shortbread dough before baking. This helps the cookies hold their shape.
Shortbread cookies are known for being soft, buttery, and crumbly.
Yes! Shortbread freezes very well. Wrap well in a container or bag and freeze for up to three months. You can freeze either the raw dough or baked cookies.
More Shortbread Cookies
Apricot Almond Shortbread Cookies
- In a food processor, add the flour, almond flour, sugar and salt. Pulse together a few times to mix.1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, ¼ cup almond flour, ⅔ cup powdered sugar, ¾ teaspoon salt
- Add the butter chunks around the flour along with the water. Pulse again until the dough starts to come together. Do not over process. It should still look crumbly. The dough should stick together when squeezed. If too dry, add a little more water and briefly incorporate.1 cup unsalted butter, 1 ½ Tablespoons water
- Add the dried fruit and almonds and pulse just to combine.½ cup dried apricots, ⅓ cup almonds
- Dump the dough onto a large sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Start pressing it together into a log shape, and roll up the paper around it to help make it into a log approximately 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Twist the ends and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F with the rack in the middle position.
- Remove the dough log from the paper and using a serrated knife, slice the dough into ½ inch (or thinner) pieces.
- Place the cookies on a silicone mat or parchment lined baking sheet at least one inch apart. Bake approximately 20 minutes, until the bottom edges that touch the baking sheet are just starting to turn a golden brown.
- Remove the cookies from the oven. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.