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


  1. 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;-)

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

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