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Apricot, Pistachio & Chocolate-Chip Bars

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Yields eighteen 3x2-inch bars.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 54

The trick to ensuring the right amount of crispiness in these bake sale favorites is partially baking the bottom layer before adding the sweet apricot filling and texture-rich crumb topping.
 

  • 9 oz. (2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 oz. (about 1 cup) chopped, shelled natural pistachios
  • 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate or semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 15-1/4-oz. jar apricot preserves
Tip:
For the best results, measure your flour by weight instead of volume. (1 cup of all-purpose flour equals 4-1/2 oz.) If you don’t have a scale, be sure to use the proper technique when filling your measuring cups.

Heat the oven to 325°F. With an electric mixer, combine the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; mix on low speed until well combined. Add the butter and mix on medium until the butter is mostly blended and the mixture appears moist and begins to pull together, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pistachios. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of this crumb mixture, stir the dried apricots and chocolate morsels into it, and refrigerate.

Firmly press the remaining mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes (leave the oven on). Spread the apricot preserves evenly on top, leaving a 1/8-inch border around the edge of the crust.

Crumble the reserved crumb mixture over the apricot preserves. Return to the oven and bake until lightly browned and the fruit filling is bubbling all over, including the center of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into 18 bars (or into smaller pieces, if you like).

Photo: Scott Phillips

I was skeptical of all these ingredients together, but absolutely loved it! I followed the recipe exactly and froze half. Both parties gave it rave reviews!

I wanted to give these a try but didn't have apricots, pistachios or apricot jam, so I substituted dried cranberries, almonds and used orange marmalade between the layers ( I also used bittersweet chocolate chips) and they were fabulous. I may never try the the apricot version.

After reading the reviews that said how great these bars were i had to try them. I did use a fruit preserve that sweetened with fruit juice because i find that the high sugar jams are way too sweet. Even with that change these were just way too sweet for my taste( and i love baked goods). Maybe it was the apricots don't think i will add this one to my repetoire.

Decadent, need not say more

These are DELICIOUS! Nice & crunchy if you let them cool completely before slicing. Also the flavors are refreashing in the summer heat when your looking for a lighter sweet treat. Yum!

These are amazing. I made them with whole wheat pastry flour and cut the sugar a bit and used sugar free preserves to eliminate some guilt and they are still fantastic.

I have been making these bars since they appeared in the 2003 issue,that's 5 very satisfied years. The taste is so familiar to a hungarian torte/cookie that my mother made only once,eventhough I asked (pleaded) every year. They assemble so easy and freeze beautifully!!

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