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Apricot Bars

apricot bars

These apricot bars are part of the 9 cookie bar recipes I have on my site. I also have 2 apricot dessert recipes if you are wanting something apricot-ey.

Apricots are common in Italian dessert recipes. Not that we have them in everything. But being that Italy is so close to countries that have apricot production - they make their way into our desserts.

My mom made apricot bars at least once or twice a year as I was growing up. She was very health conscious and wanted to make sure we got fruit, or oats, or something healthy along with our sugar dose.

My kids, not so much. Normally I couldn't tempt them with a midnight bedtime to get them to eat an apricot. BUT I had to stick this last batch of apricot bars in the freezer after dinner or they would have snacked on them later and they would have been gone by morning. I guess that's a good thing.

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Apricot Bars

YIELD: 1 pan

Ingredients

* 2 cups chopped dried apricots

* 2 teaspoons lemon juice OR splash or two or three of amaretto

* 1/3 cup white sugar

* 1 cups butter

* 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

* 2 eggs

* 2 cups all-purpose flour

* 1 teaspoons baking soda

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 cup of chopped walnuts

* 4 cups rolled oats

Procedure

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)

* Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

* In a small saucepan, combine the dried apricots, amaretto or lemon juice, and and white sugar. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. I usually just wait till the sugar melts and then begin to work on the next steps.

* In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth.

* Beat in eggs, one at a time.

* Combine flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture.

* Stir in the rolled oats. Set aside 1/4 of the mixture and press the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan.

* Sprinkle the walnuts on the rolled oats layer.

* Spread the apricot mixture over the entire crust.

* Crumble the reserved oat mixture over the top of the apricot layer.

* Bake for to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until top is golden.

* Cool before cutting into squares.


No amaretto? What else can the apricots soak in?

I can think of a zillion things. I personally would rather use a stronger booze to soak the apricots in - but the family outvoted me. Here's some other ideas:

  • Bourbon - (2 Tablespoons) Next time I'm definitely going to soak in bourbon without asking the family their opinion.
  • Rum - (2 Tablespoons)
  • Lemon - (2 teaspoons) this is my mom's input as of this morning when she was having one (or two) for breakfast.

  • Can I add other things to the apricot topping?

    ure there are many ingredients to work with what would still keep this a true Italian dessert. Try a smidgen of one of these:

  • raisins ( soaked in rum!)
  • small almond slivers
  • currants
  • dates

  • Can I leave out the walnuts?

    Yup of course. I actually do this when I know my kids won't appreciate them and would pick them out anyway.

    Back to the top of the apricot bars.


    October 2016

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