brandied apricot crumb bars

May 18, 2012

in Bars & Bites

When I glimpsed a tower of plump golden apricots at the store this week, I stopped everything to fill a bag with the first of the local harvest. Brandy and brown butter were my next two thoughts, and it wasn’t long before a pan of these brandied apricot crumb bars emerged from the oven.

I macerated the mildly sweet fruit in brandy and turbinado sugar (how delicious would a spoonful be over vanilla bean ice cream?!) before layering the slices over a brown butter shortbread crust and finishing with a generous sprinkle of streusel topping. Enjoy warm with that scoop of vanilla, or sweeten up your morning and try one for breakfast.

Brandied Apricot Crumb Bars
3/4 cup unsalted butter
5 or 6 medium apricots, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp brandy
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp water

Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until solid, about 45 minutes. Combine apricots, brandy, and turbinado sugar in a small bowl, tossing occasionally. Macerate fruit until brown butter has solidified, then pour off excess liquid.

Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in solidified brown butter, egg, and almond extract with a pastry cutter until dough is crumbly. Press 3/4 of the dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish. Arrange apricot slices in a single layer over crust. Toss remaining dough with 1 tablespoon water until large crumbs form; sprinkle over fruit layer.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden. Cool bars completely in pan on a wire rack, then cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Yield – 24 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 135
Carbs – 18

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30 Comments

1 Patty May 18, 2012

First off love, love your tea towel;-) Brandied apricots sounds like a delicious flavor for jam! I like everything about your crumb bars, especially apricots, my favorites;-)

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2 Charles May 18, 2012

You must have great apricots – the ones we get here are really small… smaller than a golf ball and rarely sweet. The ones in your photo look big and ripe as anything! Love the sound of these bars – bet the apricot is a fab flavour!

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3 Valerie May 18, 2012

Is there anything more tempting than the phrase ‘Brandied Apricots?’
These bars look gorgeous, and mouth-watering. :D

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4 Baker Street May 18, 2012

oh yum! These bars look super scrumptious. gorgeous gorgeous clicks, Laura! :)

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5 Grammy May 18, 2012

Laura, I purchased some beautiful apricots at the store with the idea of making a pie. I have changed my mind. They will shine in your Apricot Crumb Bars.

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6 Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} May 18, 2012

I haven’t seen apricots so far, but I’m sure it’s not gonna last long before I find these beauties at the local market!
Lovely bars, so summer-y!

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7 Nina May 18, 2012

I am bookmarking this recipe…will surely make as soon as I see apricots here. Great recipe:)

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8 the wicked noodle May 19, 2012

Apricots haven’t appeared in our stores yet. You can be certain that the moment they do I’m going to give this recipe a try! YUM!!

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9 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts May 19, 2012

I need to keep an eye out for apricots! These bars sound delicious! I love crumb anything!

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10 Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } May 19, 2012

These look simply divine! Have not spied apricots yet but when I do, I need to make these ASAP! Pinning now!!

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11 Susan May 19, 2012

Very inspired dessert! I love it when you get a special ingredient and create a recipe for it on the way home!

Great photos, too!

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12 Magic of Spice May 19, 2012

oh, brandy and apricots…yes please :) Delightful crumb bars!

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13 Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin May 20, 2012

I plan to buy some apricots at the store today – thank you for the inspiration! Love the colors in these crumb bars! :)

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14 beti May 20, 2012

I love to make bars like these ones! they are perfect for school and yours look delicious

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15 Katherine Martinelli May 20, 2012

Just gorgeous!! I just made some apricot bars with dried apricots but these look even better!

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16 Jennifer May 20, 2012

These looks great. I have to admit, I’ve never had an apricot. I don’t even have a good reason why, but now I feel like I must be missing out.

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17 Tutti Dolci May 20, 2012

Hope you get a chance to try one, Jennifer! They are delicious :).

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18 Jennifer (Delicieux) May 20, 2012

Your bars look scrumptious!! You must have managed to get your hands on some great apricots too. The ones I found when they were in season here were really quite small.

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19 Carlene @ Carlene's Figments May 21, 2012

What a beautiful and simple but quick dessert! Great food photos.

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20 Jean May 21, 2012

This is my kind of sweet treat, Laura. I love bars of any kind but you really captured the flavors of spring here. Love the color of the apricots. :)

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21 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 21, 2012

I love crumb bars and these look perfect, Laura! When Texas peaches are at their peak, I’ll have to try these for myself. Thanks for sharing. Also, I’m having a ChicWrap giveaway today that you should enter!

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22 Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) May 21, 2012

what a beautiful and creative treat! love it!

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23 Cassie May 21, 2012

Wow, Laura, these are gorgeous bars. I’m not even a fan of apricots but I think I would eat this whole pan!

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24 Averie @ Averie Cooks May 21, 2012

streusel topping is my fave! I love it. And apricots (they are still out of season here and very pricey$ but when in season, I ADORE them!)

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25 Nami | Just One Cookbook May 21, 2012

If I have this, then I eat one piece for breakfast and tea time snack, then dessert after dinner with vanilla ice cream! I rarely see apricots dessert. It’s one of the benefit of making homemade baked goods!

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26 Suzanne May 21, 2012

looks absolutely delicious, and I have some fresh apricots from our tree so I am going to try this one, thanks Laura!

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27 Jen L | Tartine ans Apron Strings May 22, 2012

Nothing can make me smile more than crumb bars! I love shortbread and I love crumbs! These crumb bars look fantastic!!!!

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28 Liren May 23, 2012

Did you really see apricots already! Yippee! What a delicious way to enjoy them – love the brandy, Laura :)

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29 Gina September 24, 2012

Hi Laura,
So glad Jean pointed out this recipe for us. I will keep this in mind coming Spring when we can go pick apricots. Actually I will have to come back and find something else to try also, beautiful recipes.
-Gina-

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