Apricot Macaroon Bars
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded dried coconut
6 ounces dried apricots (such as Sunsweet Mediterranean Apricots), chopped
1 cup water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
For the crust, in a large mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Beat in the eggs and almond extract. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon, then stir in the coconut. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the filling, in a saucepan combine the dried apricots and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 7-8 minutes, or until the apricots are tender. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring until dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Spoon over the hot crust.
Bake for 10 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the toasted coconut in the pan on a rack. Cut into bars. Makes 36 bars.
This recipe was adapted from The Cookie Book, Fog City Press, 2001.