Apricot Almond Bars is a rich buttery bars. You’ll find that the treats are a wonderful addition to cookie platters for holiday brunches and festive open houses as well as piled into gift boxes to give to friends and family.
14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks)
unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3½ ounces (scant ½ cup) almond
1⁄3 cup sliced almonds, plus 2
tablespoons for sprinkling
1 cup apricot preserves
PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil so that it extends about 2 inches over two opposite sides.
Generously butter the foil, making sure the sides and the bottom are well coated to prevent the bars from sticking.
USING an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. With the beaters on low speed, mix in the flour and salt just until blended.
The dough will be crumbly, but it will feel moist when pinched. Scoop out 1 cup of the dough and set it aside in a small bowl.
Press the remaining dough evenly in the prepared pan. (Flour your fingers if the dough sticks to them.) Bake the crust for 23 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool for 5 minutes.
MEANWHILE, crumble the almond paste into small bits and toss with the reserved dough in the bowl. Mix in 1⁄3 cup of the almonds.
SPREAD the apricot preserves over the baked crust. Sprinkle the almond paste–crumb topping evenly over the preserves.
Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of almonds. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes or until the preserves are bubbling and the topping is nicely golden. (Take a whiff when the bars come out of the oven . . . they are incredibly fragrant!) Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
HOLDING on to the foil overhang, lift the bars from the pan and place on a cutting board.
Peel the foil away from the sides of the bars, using a knife to remove the foil, if necessary.
Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut into 4 equal strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 6 bars. MAKES 24 BARS
|Apricot Almond Bars|