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Apricot Bars

From Domino® Light Brown Sugar in the crust to Domino® Powdered Sugar on top, these apricot bars are a taste sensation! A touch of citrus and sliced almonds round out their exceptional flavor.

For the crust
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) Butter, unsalted, softened

  • ½ cup, packed Domino® Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 large Egg yolk 
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons All-purpose flour 
  • ½ teaspoon Salt 
  • 1 tablespoon Butter, unsalted, softened, for greasing the pan

For the apricot filling
  • 24 ounces (1 ½ pounds) Dried pitted apricots, cut in half

  • 1 cup Domino® Granulated Sugar Easy Baking Tub
  • 2 cups Water
  • ½ cup (from about 1 large) Fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Water
  • 1 tablespoon Orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon Almond extract 

For the topping (before baking)
  • 1/2 cup Sliced Almond

For the topping
  • 1/4 cup Domino® Powdered Sugar

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Prep Time: 60 minutes / Bake Time: 40 minutes / Yields: 16 bars

Step 1

To prepare the crust, preheat oven to 350°F. Using 1 tablespoon of butter, grease pan. Line the bottom of the pan with one rectangle of parchment paper that will line the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Place another piece of parchment paper along the other direction. This will make a sling and will ensure that the finished bars will release from the pan easily. Set the prepared pan aside. Place the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed, and when combined, beat on medium speed until mixture is fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until a soft dough is formed. The mixing bowl may be scraped with a rubber spatula to ensure the dough is consistent. Transfer the dough into the prepared pan by using hands to scatter pieces along the bottom; this will make pressing into the pan easier. Once the dough is evenly pressed in the pan, place the pan in the refrigerator for approximately 10 minutes to chill slightly. After the dough has chilled, prick the crust with a fork evenly along the bottom. Bake crust on the middle rack of the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until light golden brown. Once baked, set pan aside while the filling is prepared. 

Step 2

To prepare the apricot filling, add the apricots, water, sugar, orange and lemon juice, and pinch of salt and cinnamon to a medium saucepan. Stir the ingredients and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, cover the saucepan and reduce heat to medium. Simmer the apricot filling for 30 minutes, while giving the mixture a stir every few minutes. Remove the lid from the saucepan and let the filling simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. When most of the liquid has evaporated, combine the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the filling and simmer for a few minutes to cook the starch. Add the orange and lemon zest and the almond extract. Remove the saucepan from the heat and using a fork or potato masher, mash filling until smooth. If a very smooth filling is desired, an immersion blender may be used.

Step 3

Pour filling onto the baked crust and smooth out with a small offset spatula. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top of the filling. Place the pan back in the oven on the middle rack for approximately 15 minutes to toast the almonds. Once baked, remove pan from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling has set or overnight if desired. 

Step 4

When ready to serve, lift the bar out of the pan by using the parchment paper that is on the sides. A large spatula may be used to help remove from the pan. Place the bar on a large cutting board. Cut the bar in half lengthwise, and then cut in half the other direction. Cut each quarter into 4 long rectangles. This will make 8 bars on one side with a total of 16 bars. Sprinkle bars with powdered sugar before serving.

Additional Tips

The apricot filling can be made and stored in a sealed airtight container to be used in other pastries or cookies if desired. The filling is easier to work with when cooled completely. 

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