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!
(adapted from "Bon Appetit Desserts" by Barbara Fairchild)
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
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
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.
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.
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!