Teresa’s Bake Shop – Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2013
Apricot Shortbread Bars are so fabulous! We delivered our Christmas cookies last week and already, these delicious bars have received all kinds of attention and praise! These bars have a tasty shortbread crust, then they’re spread with apricot preserves, and the topping is almost like a macaroon topping with lots of coconut. This recipe does have several steps, but the outcome is so amazing you will want to make these for sure!
Back in the 1980s Willard Scott used to be a national well-known weatherman. He shared a family recipe (from his grandmother, I think) for Raspberry Squares that I clipped out and made right away. These bars were so scrumptious that over the years I’ve made them with several different jellies–not just raspberry. I’ve also made them for our annual Christmas Cookie Extravaganza before. I had all these jars of apricot preserves I wanted to clear out of my pantry so I decided to use his wonderful recipe and substitute apricot preserves instead of raspberry. They turned out sensationally! This particular recipe is also good with blackberry and blueberry jams, too.
This recipe for Apricot Shortbread Bars is a goldmine if you are near fruit orchards and put up several different types of jams or preserves every year. Even if you don’t make your own jellies, you can easily buy any kind of jelly you like and use this basic recipe with them. Any flavor will work well with this basic recipe. I will tell you that I used mostly Blackburn preserves and they worked the best. Some of the cheaper jellies were too thick and didn’t spread as easily. Jellies actually spread a little easier. Another option is to melt the preserves a little if they seem too thick to spread over the crust layer.
If you’re looking for a great recipe to wow your company, clients, office staff, or family, then give Apricot Shortbread Bars a try this year. Then you will get all the kudos from family and friends we’ve received after making these bars this year.
Apricot Shortbread Bars are luscious and decadent.
The original recipe uses a lot less jelly, but such a small amount is so hard to spread, so I increased the amount of jam in the recipe which makes these bars nice and gooey.
These bars take a little bit of time to make, but they are so worth it! If you like fruit-filled cookies that are a little on the gooey side, you will love these delicious treats.
Here’s what I did.
Soften butter. Don’t freak out at how much butter is in the picture. I made nine 9×13″ baking pans of this recipe at once.
Add UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens baked goods) and baking powder.
Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender.
Add eggs and milk.
Stir ingredients to combine.
Spray 9×13″ baking pan with cooking spray. Press shortbread crust mixture into pan. I actually sprinkled a little flour on my hands so the dough wouldn’t stick to my fingers.
Spread the apricot jam over top of the shortbread layer to within 1/2-inch of the edge.
To make topping: Place eggs and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Add softened butter and vanilla.
Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add coconut and stir to combine.
Spread coconut mixture over top of the preserves covering the top as evenly as possible. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Here’s a look at the top of the bars right after baking.
Doesn’t this Apricot Shortbread Bar look marvelous?
Here’s a close up so you can see the inner texture of these terrific cookies.
Apricot Shortbread Bars are great to take to holiday parties and share with friends.
Here’s the recipe.
APRICOT SHORTBREAD BARS
(Recipe adapted from my Raspberry Shortbread Bars)
- 1 ½ cups Gold Medal UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens baked goods)
- 1 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 12-oz. apricot preserves[br]
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 cups coconut
- Heat oven to 350.
- Spray a 9×13” baking pan or dish with cooking spray. [br]
- Mix flour, baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.
- Cut in blender with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add egg and milk and stir to combine.
- Spread mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
- I usually have to sprinkle a tablespoon or so of flour on top of the dough to pat it down into the pan to prevent the dough from sticking to my hands.
- Spread apricot preserves on top of crust layer to within ¼ to ½ inch of border. [br]
- Beat egg with fork.
- Stir in sugar, vanilla, butter and coconut. This is kind of like a macaroon layer.
- Dollop topping over top of preserves covering surface entirely.
- Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until lightly browned and preserves are set.
- Cool completely before cutting.
Each bite of Apricot Shortbread Bars is mouthwatering as the gooey texture just melts in your mouth. If you and your family like apricots, you will love these delicious bars.
Are you drooling yet?
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