Thursday, December 22, 2011

Apricot and Walnut Bars : Free and Easy Bake-Along #15

This is such a delight to eat! For our Bake-Along this week, together with my baking buddies, Lena from Her Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, we baked this fabulous "Apricot and Walnut Bars". It is a two-layer bar, the bottom is a buttery shortbread, the top is filled with apricots and toasted walnuts. 


This is baked in a 8x8" pan, just a right portion for the family. The brown sugar used for the top makes a beautiful brown.





The shortbread crust is buttery and the topping is really nice, with the mixture of moist dried apricots which has been softened by boiling it first before baking, and the toasted walnuts gave a nutty, delicious crunch.



I baked this at night, we had a  piece each and finished the rest the next day. I find that after leaving overnight, it tasted even better. It is even more moist, soft and tastier the next day. Definitely a bar that is worth making again!


This delicious Apricot Walnut Bars is our Bake-Along's last bake for the year 2011! How time passes by! There will be more interesting and fun bakes in the year ahead! Do join us, bake along together with us! Everyone is welcome! 


Please stop by at Lena, Zoe and our friends who are baking along with us at the linky below. For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking everyone's favourite, Brownies! Yup, our theme is "Brownies". You may bake any brownies. Do you have a favourite or maybe a recipe that you have eyeing for ages? Now is the time to make just that and join us on 9th January 2012, our linky will stay open for 5 days. See you!


Apricot and Walnut Bars
(adapted from "Bon Appetit Desserts" by Barbara Fairchild)
Shortbread Layer
Nonstick vegetable oil and spray
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Apricot Layer
2/3 cup (packed) dried apricot halves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar (I use loosely packed 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Powdered sugar


Shortbread Layer 
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter, using on/off turns, process until coarse meal forms. Press crumbs firmly onto bottom of prepared dish. Bake until center is golden, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.


Apricot Layer
Meanwhile, place apricots in small saucepan; add enough water to cover. Boil until soft, about 4 minutes; drain. Set aside and cool.


Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat eggs in large bowl. Add brown sugar and vanilla, beat until blended. Stir in flour mixture, then nuts and apricots. Spread over shortbread.


Bake until puffed and dark brown and tester inserted into topping comes out with small moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool in dish.


Cut into bars. Transfer to waxed paper. Sift powdered sugar over bars.




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I would like to wish everyone "A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND  HAPPY HOLIDAYS".  Have a fun, enjoyable time with your family and friends! And for those who are travelling either to your loved ones or for a festive holiday, wish you a Safe and Comfortable journey to your destination and back home again!  See you!

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28 comments:

  1. hi Joyce, looks so delicious :)

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  2. What a great recipe;love anything with apricots; a must try.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    Rita

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  3. Gr8 recipe..looks moist n yummm

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  4. We enjoy eating Apricot Walnut Bars very much. Great choice of recipe, Joyce!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family! Enjoy your holidays!

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  5. i actually wondered why my apricots bars look so different, i'm quite sure that i put in the wrong amount of flour! Luckily it still turned out edible, not too bad, still nice otherwise i would have to give to my dog, haha!

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  6. Oh! These bars sounds very tasty, like the idea of nuts and fruits all together.
    Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones :-)

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  7. Love these bars, look so yummy!
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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  8. Oh goodness gracious, Joyce, don't they look heavenly!!! I've been craving shortbread for weeks now which is actually unusual for me. The notion of apricots and walnuts on top sounds so comforting. Thank you so much for sharing...

    It doesn't look like my eye is improving as quickly as we had hoped. I'm not even suppose to be in front of the glare on the computer but, I just had to do a bit of holiday visiting and I wanted to drop by to wish you and yours a Safe and Merry Christmas! It's been such a pleasure to get to know you and your delicious blog and I look forward to getting better and visiting in the new year. Louise.

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  9. looks very tasty and quite easy to make.

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  10. Hi Joyce, those apricot bars look fantastic! Didn't have time to make them this time... but will definitely join the next Bake Along! Love the brownies theme! Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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  11. Thats a super delicious and quite addictive bars..

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  12. What a delicious bars recipe with wonderful flavors.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  13. These bars look amazing! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas! :)

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  14. The apricot bars look scrumptious! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas too!

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  15. What a great thing to see bar cookies in the mix with the traditional ones right now. Great post!

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  16. Gorgeous apritcot bars! Perfectly moist and so tempting!

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  17. My family would absolutely love these bars! I'll have to make room on the cookie tray for these. :) I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

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  18. These sound perfectly dangerous. Thank you for stopping by Mentalchew , i am following you now! What faun site. Heading over to see your potted garden.

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  19. Hi, your cake is amazing to see, very appetizing.
    I appreciate and reciprocate the wish happy holidays to you and your family.
    kisses dear.

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  20. Gorgeous bake-along! It's kind of nice to see a yummy treat that isn't doused in holiday chocolate right now. My stretchy pants can't take much more :)

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  21. They look delicious and I'd have a hard time not eating them all! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  22. Oh these bars look so deliciously moist! Wish I could have a piece now with my coffee! Yum! Merry Christmas!

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  23. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Hope you'll have a great time at your sister's! I'm having a potluck with friends at my house. My kids can't wait to open the presents under the tree! :)

    Happy New Year too!

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  24. This would be lovely with my tea. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  25. Merry xmas and may 2012 brings you more happy baking days...

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  26. My Deerest Friend
    Many thanks for your wishes!
    Your recipe is beautiful!!!
    I wish you a Merry Christmas an a Happy New Year, to all family!
    Many greetings and kisses

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  27. Merry Christmas and have a blessed 2012!!

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  28. Hi. Could you please let me know how many grams is the 2/3 cup (packed) dried apricot halves? Thanks so much and looking forward for your reply.

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