Category Archives: Apricot Bars

How to Make Apricot Bars

Talk about something that brings me back to childhood. Taking a bite of these put me right back in Lillie’s kitchen, where my twin sister and I would watch her whip up meringue by hand on a flat egg board (she didn’t own a mixing machine of any kind). Lillie was an ample woman, and on warm days when she’d wear sleeveless dresses, those big upper arms of hers would really get to flappin’. Her generous, rose-cheeked smile is something I’ll never forget.

These bars, I found, stuck fairly tenaciously when they’d been chilled thoroughly. So my advice is to either leave them at room temperature before serving, or line the pan with parchment à la 7 Layer Bars. Start by preheating your oven to 350. Combine your crust ingredients in a bowl or the bowl of a mixer and stir until a dough forms.

Scrape the dough into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish…

…and press it to shape. Bake the crust 20 minutes until lightly golden. Allow it to cool completely.

Next, prepare the meringue topping. Put your eggs in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whip…

…and whip the eggs to the soft peak stage.

With the machine running, add in your almond extract and sugar…

…and whip to stiff peaks.

Now to build the bars. Spread on the jam…

…then the meringue…

…and top the meringue with the sliced almonds. (They make a funny knocking sound when dropped onto meringue…I must find out why sometime).

Bake 15 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

Cool completely, slice and serve!

Filed under:  Apricot Bars, Desserts & Cookies | 2 Comments

Apricot Bars Recipe

I was very lucky as a boy to live two doors down from the neighborhood baking queen. Her name was Lillie Lundstrom, a second-generation Swede whose cakes and cardamom rolls are still the stuff of legend on Lincoln Street. One of her lesser-known creations was this recipe for apricot bars, which takes the American concept of “bar” cookies and applies a decidedly northern-European twist. As a child accustomed to brownies and tollhouse cookies, I found these to be rather challenging with their sweet-bitter fruit-and-almond flavors. I’ve since come to appreciate their sophistication and subtlety. To make them you’ll need:

8 ounces butter
3.5 ounces (1/2 cup) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
10 ounces (2 cups) flour
10 ounces (1 1/2) cups apricot jam
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract
1.75 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar
1-2 ounces sliced almonds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, sugar, flour and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer and stir until a dough comes together. Press into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and allow crust to rest at room temperature for 10-20 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Spread the jam evenly over the crust.

Next, put the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whip. Whip whites to the soft peak stage, then whip in the almond extract plus the additional sugar. Whip to stiff peaks, then spread the mixture over the jam layer and sprinkle on the sliced almonds. Bake 15 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned. Allow to cool completely then refrigerate at least two hours before cutting and serving.

Filed under:  Apricot Bars, Desserts & Cookies | 2 Comments