Saturday, August 3, 2013

Apricot Crumb Bars

I love baking with peaches but they do have to be peeled before baking which slows down the whole process of getting something sweet in your pie hole.  Not so with their humble little cousin, the apricot.  Apricots are still in season and I got some tasty ones at the market this weekend. They were perfect for a quick batch of apricot crumb bars.

Apricots are high in vitamin C and A and while I'm not saying these crumb bars are good for you (although they will put you in a good mood), you might just want to make a baker's treat of one or two while you're making the bars. 

If you saw this article in the NYT (and read the comments) than you know you can't really have a good apricot experience unless you've just picked one and are eating it under the tree.  With that in mind I boosted the apricot flavor with a layer of apricot preserves.  That did the trick and these bars were wonderful!  Very rich but delicate, more like a fancy tart than a bar.  And so full of fruit they were a great apricot experience, no tree needed.

apricot crumb bars

3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, cut into little pieces
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup apricot preserves
4-6 apricots (about 3 cups of diced apricots)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 x 9 inch baking pan.  Pulse flour, sugar and baking powder in a food processor until combined.  Add cut up butter and pulse until crumbly.  Remove 1 cup of mixture and set aside.  Add egg and pulse until a crumbly dough forms.

Press dough into bottom of prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Mix reserved crumb mixture with coconut and chill. 

When dough is finished baking, spread with apricot preserves.  Cut apricots into small pieces and layer over preserves.  Top with coconut crumb mixture.  Return to oven for another 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool and cut.  Makes 12-16 bars.

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