Apricot Coconut Bars
This combination of sweet, tangy apricots mixed with coconut on a sweet crust is borderline addictive.
For the crust:
5 oz. (1 cup plus 2 Tbs.) all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
Pinch table salt
4 oz. (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
For the topping:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 extra-large egg
2 Tbs. apricot jam
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
1 cup firmly packed diced dried apricots (about 6 oz.)
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Make the crust:
Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture resembles moist pebbles. Dump the dough into the prepared pan and press down to form an even layer. Bake until the crust is lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and leave the oven set to 350°F.
Make the topping:
While the crust is baking, combine the brown sugar, egg, apricot jam, flour, baking powder, salt, and almond extract in a medium bowl. Whisk until blended. Stir in the apricots and coconut. When the crust is baked, scrape the topping into the pan and spread evenly. Continue baking until the topping is browned around the edges and a pick inserted in the center comes out a bit sticky, about 20 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before inverting onto a cutting board. Using a warm, thin-bladed knife, trim off the edges and cut into bars.
Store at room temperature or freeze in an airtight container, separating the layers with waxed paper.
Photo: Scott Phillips
I am actually the one who submitted this recipe to Fine Cooking's cookie contest all those years back. ( I won a nice prize too!) :-) However, as I recall, the proportions for the base were altered slightly. I have not made these in years but I plan to add them to this year's list, so I'll report back with any modifications.
I have to agree with the previous reviewer. I thought the problem with the base was the Canadian flour. Next time I would use either less flour or more butter. The taste however was terrific & one guest couldn't stop eating them...I'll try them again & report back.
I followed this recipe exactly, but the results were somewhat disappointing. The taste was terrific, but they were extremely difficult to cut. The topping was very sticky, and the base was so crumbly, that they disintegrated when I tried cutting them into squares. I would not make these again.