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Apricot Bars

If you like apricots, then you are going to love these apricot bars. I used to enjoy these treats at the local Daly City Barnes & Noble that we would seek refuge in during foggy Sunday mornings. I’ve always liked dried apricots—growing up in the Santa Clara Valley it was hard not to since many houses were built on or between apricot and other fruit orchards (update: now condos and town homes). My mom used to say they were like little dried ears (the kinds that are delicious to nibble on). Once we moved into the sunshine further down the peninsula in 2001, I never saw those apricot bars again.

For quite a few years now, my grandmother, Polly, of Yam Good Casserole fame, has been giving us apricots. She had several apricot trees in her yard and would have them dried locally before distributing them to friends and family. They have since moved away from their fruit garden and now live right next to a very popular fruit stand in Los Altos. Instead of her own home-grown apricots, we now receive a delicious two pound box of slab, Blenheim apricots. As much as I like dried apricots, two pounds is a lot to nibble on, so I have been on the lookout for a way to bake with them. A few years ago we discovered James McNair’s and Andrew Moore’s book of coffee house favorites, Afternoon Delights. We made it a couple times and decided there just wasn’t enough of the the crust and topping, so we increased this by about 25% in our adaptation of this recipe for apricot bars.

You can use any variety of dried apricots to make these—or even other fruits—but if you can find the Blenheim apricot, look no further. Grown primarily right here in California’s Santa Clara Valley, these are among the most flavorful apricots you will taste. I would recommend going for the slab variety as they are the most juicy and delicious. More information about Blenheim apricots can be found at the Apricot King. They also offer online ordering, though I have never ordered from them—or anyone— since I work in Santa Clara and Polly continues to deliver apricots annually. In general, dried apricots are usually a little pricey, so save this dessert for dear friends, when, of course, money is no object.

Ingredients for making Apricot Bars.

Hydrate apricots with sugar and water over medium heat until liquid is reduced to a thick syrup.

Process hydrated apricots until only thick chunks remain.

Melt butter for crust/topping over stove or in microwave.

Pour melted butter into flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and oat mixture.

Stir mixture until well blended and reserve half for topping.

After pressing half of oat mixture onto bottom of pan, evenly spread apricot filling with spatula.

Use bottom of measuring cup to press remaining half of oat mixture over filling.

Bake in 350 °F oven for 30 minutes or until topping begins to brown.

The recipe, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Apricot Bars recipe page.

  • Brian,
    These bars must be fantastic!
    I’m a huge apricot fan, will nibble the whole pack unless someone is brave enough to stop me. 😉
    I always love your step by step photos.

  • These look really good. Love the combination of apricots and oats. Kinda a healthy dessert (we won’t mention the butter, yum).