Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bars bars bars.

Apricot Crumb Bars.

Apricot bars, that is. I like making bars. They're easy and they make a lot (or a little) depending on how small YOU want to cut them. Plus you can basically incorporate any flavours, crusts, and toppings you want to.

To be honest when I get a recipe online or any recipe really, I hardly ever follow it to a T. I like to adapt to my tastes, to the things I already have, and improve the recipe so I absolutely know I'll like the outcome. For example, the original recipe for these bars included no salt. When you bake, you NEED SALT. Yes. It brings out the flavour of everything! Also, the original said to bake/prepare in a 9x13-inch pan, which is great, but the ingredients listed for the filling and crumb topping would never have covered the entire surface of the crust. So this recipe, although I found it online somewhere, I don't feel credit is really necessary because of how much I changed it. I literally changed every single part of it, and I will put THAT recipe here instead of the one I originally found, since that's what gave me the delicious results.

Apricot Crumb Bars.

Apricot Crumb Bars

Shortbread Crust:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 cups AP flour
Pinch kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla to combine. Add the flour and salt and mix just until a nice ball of dough forms. Press this into the bottom of the pan, and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and in spots in the middle. Cool completely.

Apricot Filling:
3 cups dried apricots
3 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Amaretto
Pinch kosher salt

Place the apricots and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cover. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. At this point I used a stick blender to puree the apricots, but you could transfer to a blender or a food processor also. Stir in the sugar, Amaretto and salt. Let cool slightly.

Crumb Topping:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
Pinch kosher salt
3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
(You could really add anything you want to this, cinnamon, almonds, nuts of any kind, oatmeal. Have fun imo.)

Combine the flour, salt and sugar until well-mixed. Cut in the butter until large clumps form.

Finishing the bars:
After the crust has cooled completely, spread the apricot filling over it to cover. Then crumble the topping on evenly and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the crumbs are set. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Apricot Crumb Bars.

6 comments:

  1. Beth, you won't believe it, but the only bars I've baked so far are brownies (not even blondies!!!) :)

    These are delish and I'll be baking them soon.

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  2. You'll love these Patricia! Have fun with them.

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  3. I'm definitely going to make these for Thanksgiving. My only question is, will leaving out the Amaretto screw up the recipe? I'm not a big fan of the almond taste.

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  4. Stewart, I'm sure that would be fine! I would instead just add a teaspoon or so of vanilla. Enjoy, glad to hear they'll be a part of your Thanksgiving celebration :)

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  5. Thanks so much for that advice. I'll let you know how they come out. I'm sure everyone will love them. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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