The tart apricot filling is just the right complement to the sweet almond topping
in these elegant but easy bar cookies.
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups (12 ounce) dried apricots
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter (no substitutions), cut up
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (7 ounce) tube or 1 (8 ounce) can almond paste
3/4 cup butter (no substitutions), softened
4 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Make Apricot Filling: Bring the 2 1/2 cups water, the apricots and the 3/4 cup
granulated sugar to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until tender,
about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and mash with fork until smooth. Cool completely.
Make Crust: Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the 2 1/4 cups flour, the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon
salt in medium bowl. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the 1/2 cup butter
and the shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with ice
water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until mixture is moist enough
to hold together. Roll pastry into 15 1/2 x 10-1/2-inch rectangle and place
pastry in same size jellyroll pan.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on wire rack.
Make Almond Topping: Beat the 1 cup granulated sugar, the almond paste and
the 3/4 cup butter in mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time,
beating well after each addition. Beat in the 1/2 cup flour, the vanilla extract,
almond extract and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Spread apricot filling evenly over baked crust. Top evenly with almond mixture.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until baked through. Cool completely in pan on wire
rack. Cut into 3 x 1-inch bars. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
Make-Ahead Tip: The bars can be baked ahead. Wrap well and freeze up to 3 months.
Posted by Chyrel at Recipe Goldmine 1/27/2002 10:38 am.