Okay maybe not a cookie crush, more a rekindling of a long lost love. The cookie in question is called a Mazurka. I fell for it hard in college when the Mazurka was a mainstay of every espresso cart in Seattle. It was homely, a little bumpy, and oaty, and healthy as far as cookies go. Okay, I was in college at the time and could rationalize that a cookie containing fruit and oats constituted health food.
Yes, I did eat them on more than one occasion for breakfast.
My roommate and I would buy them often, and how fortunate for us that they could be found in the checkout aisle at the grocery store.
Right across the street from our house.
I really ate a lot of those cookies.
At the time they were made by the McGraw street bakery in Seattle, which is sadly no longer, but Macrina Bakery has picked up the torch making their own version. I love them for it. The cookie goes by many names, Mazurka, Fruit and Oat Bar, Polish Wedding Cake....No matter the name, it is always an oat base with coconut, nuts, a jammy filling and a streusel topping. I think that traditionally they are filled with apricot jam but I like them with raspberry jam. Or apple butter. Or, oh you get the point. I found a recipe many years ago, shoved it in the back of a notebook and then recently rediscovered it. I am sad it took me so long to make them.
The recipe is from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies. I don't own this particular book, cuz I was really only after one thing.....this recipe.
I should mention that I planned to take a picture of the cookies but then they were eaten before I could get a picture. Maybe next time.
Cookie base and topping:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
1 1/2 sticks cold butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup firmly packed shredded coconut
3/4 cup old fashioned or quick cooking (not instant) oatmeal
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (Optional, see cooks note)
Apricot filling, see recipe below or 1/2 cup jam of your choice.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the coconut, oatmeal and yucky walnuts if using (see cooks note)
Place roughly half, approximately 3 cups, of the mixture in an unbuttered 8 inch square baking dish. (Here's where I diverged, I buttered the baking dish. I know. REBEL. What's next, using salted butter?) Press it evenly with your fingertips to make a smooth layer.
Spread the filling of your choice evenly over the crust leaving a 1/4 inch margin. Sprinkle the remaining pastry over the filling leaving lumps and bumps.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is barely firm to the touch. My cookies were done after 40 minutes in an 8 inch pan but when I doubled the recipe it took a full hour.
Cool completely in pan, cut around the sides to loosen before cutting and serving.
4 ounces, about 24 halves, dried apricots
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
Bring the apricots and water to a boil uncovered in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the apricots are tender, about half an hour. The fruit should be very soft and the water should be partially but not fully absorbed.
Mash the apricots with a fork, the mixture should be thick but smooth. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Cool to room temperature before using.
Cooks Note: I really dislike walnuts. I omitted all nuts when I made these and didn't miss a thing. I think you could use almonds or pecans instead of walnuts if you really had to have them.