Apricot Shortbread Bars bring back childhood memories for me. My grandfather had an apricot tree in his backyard and every summer we would can and dry all the apricots we couldn’t eat to bring home with us. I’ve never been able to find apricots on the East coast like they grow in California. The ones we get in the grocery don’t even come close to what I remember.
Do apricots ripen off the tree
In my opinion they do not ripen after they’ve been picked, they only soften. Some people will tell you that if they are colored and soft when picked they will ripen. However, in my experience if they ripen any, it’s only slightly. Since apricots are such a delicate fruit, I guess they have to pick them before they’re ripe, or they would be mush by the time they made it to the East Coast. My advise is don’t bother buying apricots on the East coast, you’re going to have to stick to canned, frozen or dried.
How do you make Apricot Shortbread Bars
Tips for cutting perfect bars
Once you’ve made the perfect apricot shortbread bar, you want to be able to have beautiful squares.
- To get perfect squares for any dessert bar I always line the baking pan with parchment paper with enough to hang over the two ends of the pan. This way you can easily lift it out of the pan to cut. If you don’t have parchment paper, tin foil will also work.
- For most recipes, it helps to first let the bars cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. This will help you get pretty cuts without the bars falling apart.
I shipped these to Natalie and she loved them. I would suggest taking these to your next tail gate or pot luck. While chocolate chip cookies are the standard for tail gates, these can withstand the heat and still keep their crunch. Plus it’s something a little different that everyone will love. Nana sent me this recipe from an old Junior League Cookbook printed in the 80’s from Owensboro Ky. I love these old cookbooks, you can find some of the best recipes.
More recipes that use apricots
- Apricot Dijon Chicken
- Cranberry Apricot Oatmeal Cookies
- I’m going to try this dried apricot tart from The Spruce Eats
- Dried apricot muffins sound delicious too from The Southern Plate
Looking for more delicious dessert bars
- Pistachio lemon bars are great for an after dinner treat
- Feel like summer, try some S’more Bars with Rice Krispies
- Try a classic snickerdoodle like bar
- If you like fruit, then you’ll love apple pie bars
- Can’t decide between carrot cake or cheesecake, you’ll love carrot cake cheesecake bars
Apricot Shortbread Bars
- 12 ounces dried apricots (11/2 cups)
- 1 ¾ cups sugar sugar divided
- ¾ cup butter softened
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sweetened coconut toasted
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, cover apricots with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until soft. Drain, reserving ¼ cup water. Place water back in saucepan and add ¾ cup sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved.
- Chop apricots and add to saucepan.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and 1 cup sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together four, soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until combined. Add toasted coconut and pecans.
- Place ¾ of the mixture into prepared pan, pressing it with the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake for 10 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove from oven and spread apricot mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crust over the top and bake an additional 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Barbara's Tips + Notes
Tips for perfect apricot bars
- Start with softened butter. If you press your finger on it it will indent but not go all the way through.
- Line the pan with parchment paper to make it easy to remove when cooled.
- Refrigerate after cooled to make cutting into bars even easier.