More often than not, when I walk into my apartment and catch a whiff of something deliciously buttery wafting from the kitchen, the culprit is these apricot bars. Which is not to say that the baker of these crumbly, jam-enhanced bars — my roommate Iz — has a limited repertoire at all. Rather, this recipe is just so lovely that it's become her signature. (She's made them so many times that when I asked her for the recipe, she didn't even need to reference the cookbook from which it's from.)
A fabulous way to get your apricot fix even past their season (praise be preserves!), these easy-to-make bar cookies are sturdy enough to pack up and take to work to share with office-mates, to a bake sale, or even to ship cross-country (as Iz will often do for friends' birthdays).
Apricots not your thing? Try subbing other preserves: cherry preserves play just as well with almond extract as apricot does, and for other fruits, sub vanilla (make sure to double the dose as almond extract is more potent).
- For the crust:
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (2 ounces) brown sugar, packed
Scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, cubed
- For the crumble:
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (4 ounces) brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Scant 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 stick (3 ounces) butter, cubed
- About 3/4 of a 13-ounce jar of apricot preserves, such as Bonne Maman
- For the glaze:
3 cups (12 ounces) sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3-4 tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the crust: Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Cut the butter in using a pastry cutter or the tines of a fork until it is in roughly pea-sized pieces and a very loose, shaggy dough has formed. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex or ceramic dish. Spread the dough out in an even layer and press it in firmly. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until very light golden brown and fragrant.
- Make the crumble: While this is baking, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the almond extract, whisking to combine. Rub the butter in with your fingertips until a shaggy crumble forms.
- While the crust is hot out of the oven, spread preserves in a thin layer on top of the crust, then sprinkle the crumble on top. Bake for another 25-28 minutes or until crumble is browned and the preserves are bubbling.
- Make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and 3 tablespoons of milk. The glaze should be a pourable-yet-thick consistency; add the remaining tablespoon of milk if needed to thin out the glaze.
- Let the bars cool completely before drizzling the glaze over the bars. Let dry, then use a large chef's knife to cut into 2-1/4-inch (or smaller) bars.
- Desserts, Cookies
- North American
- 20 (2 1/4-inch) bar cookies