Ooey Gooey apricot caramel brownies with almonds, cranberries and coconut.
It was a few months ago now that I came across a box of something called “Apricot Breakfast Bars” at the market and told myself I should make something like that for breakfast at home. Of course, there was no recipe. All I had was the sample of their bar, and tasted the things in it.
And occasionally when I try to recreate things I would otherwise have to buy as already prepared or processed food, something serendipitous happens, and that is the case with these amazing apricot bars. First, I knew my bars would be better- I x’d out the things in theirs I didn’t want (rice cereal) and replaced that with toasted oats. The fruits are about the same- although their apricots were a bit chunkier and unwieldy. Both are on shortbread crust. And so I set out to make mine (and in so doing saving myself a “ton” of money, because theirs are a *bit* more expensive than what you can make at home.) The end results of my endeavor are quite unexpected- mine are SO much more flavorful and rich and not really suitable as a breakfast item at all, but a decadent dessert. And SO much better than theirs, but I don’t really need to rip them apart here.
These bars are not something you can bake and eat while still warm (we all know what happens with chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven, don’t we?) I made mine last evening and let them cool overnight. This gives the caramel time to cool completely and set up. Otherwise I think if they were served warm they might be just a bit messier than you’d like. So be patient and let them sit, if you can. I cut my pan into nine squares (3×3), but after tasting how rich they are, I might suggest doing a (4×4) cut that yields 16 smaller squares. I store them on waxed paper in an airtight container,
I do hope you enjoy them- I was absolutely “wowed” and it was Bill who dubbed them “amazing”, so that made finding my title easy. 😉
Amazing Apricot Bars
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (8-1/2 ounces)
Ingredients for Topping:
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, toasted
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup Simply Fruit Apricot Spread or Apricot Jam
- 3 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Butter the inside of a glass 8×8-inch square baking pan.
- Cream together the butter and sugar (thoroughly mix until sugar dissolves).
- Stir in the vanilla, salt and flour and mix into a dough.
- Press dough evenly into the bottom of the buttered baking pan, then chill in the refrigerator while you continue.
- Mix the dry ingredients for the topping together in a small bowl.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter with sugar and honey over low heat.
- Stir in the dry fruit topping mixture and bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
- Take out the baking pan, and spread the top of the dough with the simply fruit apricot spread.
- Top the spread with the cooked fruit mixture.
- Sprinkle the topping with an extra 3 tablespoons of sweetened flaked coconut.
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing into squares.
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