Tuesday, January 8, 2013
brown sugar apricot bars.
The moment my caboose hits the chair, my sore muscles instantly relax like a knot that has been unravelled. A tension still dwells in my legs as blood courses rapidly through them, not unlike how the string of the recently unravelled knot remains somewhat curly. For a fleeting moment, I reach heaven closer than any point in life. My eyelids start to flutter shut unconsciously in bliss, but halfway, I stop. What could be more cliche than showing signs of blissfulness by allowing your peepers to close and your head tilted slightly back? I defiantly will my eyelids to spring back up, not wanting to adhere to such cheesy imagery. But yet, I thought in my head, this is paradise. 10 minutes...15 minutes...20 minutes later, the lower half of my body didn't, couldn't, even shift an inch. Somewhere within that time, my eyelids felt like weights were hanging on them and started to droop, this time from sheer exhaustion. No! I can't afford to close my eyes here or I'll never wake up to sleep in my bed. So, to stave off the sleepy bug, I log on to blogger and started typing. It's working- but I doubt it will work for long.
To cut a long story short, I was on my feet nearly the whole of a good 12 hours, and finally being able to let my behind adhere to a chair for more than 5 minutes was such a treat. When I finally lay down in a horizontal position, I was out for 11 hours straight. Amazing. I woke up hungry but with nothing to eat and ended up ravaging my snack cupboard for a quick fix. I was still unsatisfied though, so I proceeded to the kitchen to whip up something. Not to cook, if that's what you're thinking, because I can't cook for nuts. I went to bake some of these brown sugar apricot bars, which I chose simply because they were quick. Fast forward 1 hour later and they were ready to eat. Of course, it was only made possible by cheating with the cooling process. Thank you technology for freezers!
These bars, and I swear I'm not biased because I was hungry, are a.w.e.s.o.m.e. It's brown sugar-coconut-walnut-apricot nutty nirvana. They are moist and chewy with a sturdy layer of crunch on top.
Make them. It's not an option.
Brown Sugar Apricot Bars
adapted from Baking by Flavour
1 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 tbsp apricot jam
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom (I omitted)
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut (I used desiccated)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 inch square baking pan.
Combine the dried apricots and apricot jam together in a bowl and stir to coat the apricot pieces evenly.
Sift the flours, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom in another bowl.
Stir the melted butter and sugars until combined. Blend in the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in the apricot mixture, coconut and walnuts until evenly distributed.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden on top and just set. Cool completely before cutting.