Apricot Pillows Recipe - Sweet and Tangy Dessert Using Dried Apricots and Honey

Apricot Pillows

Apricot Pillows Recipe - Sweet and Tangy Dessert Using Dried Apricots and Honey
Preparation time: 2-3 hours | Cooking time: 10-12 minutes | Servings: makes about 24 cookies


Apricot Pillows
Apricot Pillows

Apricot Pillows are a delightful treat that combines the tender crumb of buttery cookies with the sweet tang of apricot filling. This recipe offers a perfect balance of flavors and textures, making it a favorite for both everyday snacking and special occasions. Whether you're a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, these cookies are sure to impress with their elegant appearance and exquisite taste.


The tradition of stuffing cookies with fruit dates back centuries, with various cultures incorporating local fruits and spices into their baking. Apricot Pillows, in particular, have roots in European baking, where apricots were prized for their sweet, tart flavor and ability to preserve well. This recipe combines the classic technique of sandwiching fruit preserves between layers of dough with the convenience of modern baking, resulting in a cookie that's both nostalgic and delightfully contemporary.


How to prepare

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
  2. Beat in the egg and almond extract until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and add them to the bowl. Beat on low speed until the dough is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently with a rubber spatula.
  4. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for 2-3 hours, or until firm.
  5. Meanwhile, finely chop the dried apricots.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the apricots and honey.
  7. Set the apricot filling aside at room temperature until the dough has chilled.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  9. Between pieces of waxed paper, roll out the dough to a thickness of 0.13".
  10. Cut out cookies using a 2" round cutter.
  11. Reroll the scraps to make additional cookies.
  12. Place half of the cookies 2" apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.
  13. Spoon about 0.5 tsp of the apricot filling into the center of each cookie.
  14. Moisten the edges of the cookies with water and top them with the remaining cookies to make a sandwich.
  15. Press the edges together with your fingertips to seal them.
  16. Pierce the center of each "pillow" with the tines of a fork.
  17. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
  18. Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes on the sheets, then remove them to racks and cool completely.
  19. Store the cookies in a tightly covered container.


  • Consider adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the apricot filling for a spiced version, or substitute the apricots with other dried fruits like figs or dates for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Apricot Pillows turn out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Use high-quality butter for the best flavor and texture.

- Chill the dough thoroughly to make it easier to handle and to keep the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.

- Finely chop the dried apricots to ensure they blend well with the honey and distribute evenly in the filling.

- Be gentle when pressing the two cookie halves together to avoid squeezing out the filling.

- Pierce the top of each cookie gently to allow steam to escape and prevent the pillows from bursting open during baking.

Serving Suggestions

Apricot Pillows are perfect on their own but can be elevated with a dusting of powdered sugar or served alongside a cup of tea or coffee for a delightful afternoon snack.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the creaming of butter and sugar, which introduces air into the dough for a light texture. Additionally, chilling the dough is crucial for easy handling and maintaining the shape of the cookies during baking.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a dairy-free version, use a plant-based butter substitute. If you're out of almond extract, vanilla extract can be used, though it will slightly alter the flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough for Apricot Pillows can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month. Simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out and filling.

Presentation Ideas

Serve these cookies on a vintage platter for a touch of elegance, or stack them in a clear glass jar tied with a ribbon for a charming gift.

Pairing Recommendations

Apricot Pillows pair beautifully with light, floral teas like Earl Grey or Jasmine, which complement the fruitiness of the apricot without overpowering it.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They do not require reheating, but if you prefer them warm, a quick 10-second zap in the microwave will do the trick.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each Apricot Pillow cookie contains approximately 150 calories. This makes them a suitable option for a sweet treat that won't overload your calorie intake if enjoyed in moderation.


Each serving of Apricot Pillows contains approximately 22 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the sugar and flour used in the cookie dough, as well as the natural sugars present in the dried apricots.


These cookies contain about 8 grams of fat per serving, with the primary source being the butter. This contributes to the rich, tender texture of the cookies but should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


Apricot Pillows offer a modest protein content of about 2 grams per serving, primarily from the egg and the small amount of protein in the flour.

Vitamins and minerals

Dried apricots are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like potassium and iron. While the amount in each cookie is small, it contributes to the overall nutritional value of the treat.


This recipe contains common allergens such as wheat (gluten), eggs, and dairy. Those with sensitivities to these ingredients should avoid this recipe or seek suitable substitutions.


Overall, Apricot Pillows are a moderately indulgent treat that offers a balance of sweet flavor and tender texture. While they contain sugar and butter, the addition of dried apricots provides a touch of nutritional value.


Apricot Pillows are a delightful blend of sweet and tart, encased in a buttery, tender cookie. This recipe not only offers a delicious treat but also provides an opportunity to practice classic baking techniques. With options for customization and make-ahead tips, it's a versatile addition to any baker's repertoire. Enjoy these cookies as a special treat that's sure to impress with its elegant appearance and exquisite flavor.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was filled with a sense of excitement. It was a hot summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Martha. She had invited me over for a cup of tea and some gossip, as we often did on lazy afternoons. As we sat at her kitchen table, sipping our tea and catching up on the latest news in the neighborhood, Martha suddenly got up and disappeared into her pantry.

She returned a few moments later, clutching a tattered old cookbook in her hands. "I have something special to show you," she said with a mischievous smile. Curious, I leaned in closer as she opened the book to a page that was well-worn and splattered with food stains. The title at the top of the page read "Apricot Pillows."

Martha explained that this recipe had been passed down in her family for generations. It was a cherished secret, known only to the women in her family. She had learned how to make it from her grandmother, who had learned it from her mother before her. It was a recipe that was steeped in tradition and love, and Martha was honored to share it with me.

As I scanned the list of ingredients and instructions, my mouth watered at the thought of the sweet, pillowy apricot-filled pastries. Martha assured me that they were surprisingly easy to make, despite their elegant appearance. She guided me through each step, showing me how to mix the dough, roll it out, and fill it with the luscious apricot filling.

As we worked side by side in her cozy kitchen, the scent of baking bread and simmering apricots filled the air. Martha shared stories of her grandmother and the special memories they had shared in the kitchen, baking together and creating delicious treats for their family. I listened intently, feeling a deep connection to Martha and her family history.

Finally, the apricot pillows were ready, golden brown and fragrant from the oven. Martha proudly presented them on a delicate china platter, dusted with powdered sugar and garnished with fresh mint leaves. We sat down at the table and savored each bite, the sweet apricot filling bursting in our mouths with every bite.

As I enjoyed the delicious pastries, I couldn't help but feel a sense of gratitude for Martha and her willingness to share this precious recipe with me. It was a gift that went beyond the simple act of baking – it was a connection to the past, a link to generations of women who had lovingly prepared these apricot pillows for their loved ones.

From that day on, the recipe for apricot pillows became a staple in my own kitchen. I made them for special occasions, like birthdays and holidays, and shared them with friends and family. Each time I baked a batch, I thought of Martha and her grandmother, and felt their presence in my kitchen, guiding my hands and infusing the pastries with love and tradition.

As the years passed, I continued to perfect the recipe, adding my own little touches and variations. I experimented with different fillings and shapes, creating unique versions of the classic apricot pillows. But no matter how much I tweaked the recipe, the essence of it remained the same – a delicious, comforting treat that brought joy to all who tasted it.

I often think back to that hot summer day in Martha's kitchen, when I first learned how to make apricot pillows. It was a turning point in my culinary journey, a moment that sparked a passion for cooking and baking that has stayed with me ever since. And I am forever grateful to Martha for sharing her family's precious recipe with me, and for teaching me the true meaning of love and tradition in the kitchen.


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