Apricot Coconut Bars

November 27, 2011

apricot coconut bars | une gamine dans la cuisine

I hope that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Welcome to the crazy days of shopping, parties, hair-pulling, 48-hour coffee benders and, best of all, eating. Ready the antacids!

Last week, for Thanksgiving, someone requested brownies from a box. (I won't name names, but we share the same parents!). Honestly, I have nothing against dry, instant, boxed up + shelved desserts; really. My college roommate and I used to make insta-brownies and cookies-in-a-tube all the time (most of those cookies never saw the light of an oven).

Now, if all I need to do is empty a mix into a bowl with some oil and an errant egg or two, I feel like I'm cheating (not that this prevents me from licking the bowl, anyway!!).

apricot coconut bars | une gamine dans la cuisine

I like to *work* for a dessert. I need to chop chocolate, melt things...anything; over a double boiler, whisk dry ingredients, beat butter; all the beautiful steps that go into creating something exquisite. To make up for the pseudo-brownies, I also made goat-cheese brownies - which I promise to share later later this week! (They were amazing, trust me.)

Because I was craving something fruity, and because I love anything with a buttery crumb topping, I made these luscious apricot bars. They're homey, messy, and the perfect thing to snack on whilst thinking about all the damage you did on Thanksgiving and all the stuff you have to do in the next few weeks. Don't worry, you know you stress out every year for no reason. Everything somehow always falls into place at the last minute. :-)

apricot coconut bars | une gamine dans la cuisine

Apricot Coconut Bars (adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 1/4 cups (11 ounces) blanched almonds, very finely ground
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (that's 3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into bits (just small enough to work into some dry ingredients)
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened)
1 3/4 cups apricot jam (feel free to use any kind of jam you want!)

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a *15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang (this will make them easier to remove from the pan), butter the foil and set the pan aside. *If you don't have a 15x10-inch pan, you can use a 9x13-inch pan instead. Just be sure to increase the baking time by about 5-7 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender or the tips of your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. You're aiming for pea-size clumps (they don't have to be uniform). Once the butter has been incorporated, toss in the coconut. Mix until it's evenly dispersed.

Scatter half of the crumbly mixture into prepared baking sheet. Cover the mixture with a sheet of parchment paper and, using the back of a large spoon, press the dough evenly into pan, lifting the parchment occasionally to ensure it doesn't stick. If you have a small rolling pin, roll along the length of the pan to smooth it out. A can of soup will work too, just be sure the dough is packed firmly and that there are no cracks or holes. Bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until lightly golden. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the crust has cooled, spread an even layer of jam over the entire surface, leaving about a 1/4-inch border of bare crust along the edges (the jam will spread as it's baking). Scatter with remaining crumb mixture, squeezing some of the mixture so that large clumps are visible and evenly distributed over the top of the jam.

Bake for 20-22 minutes (25-27 minutes, if using a 9x13-inch pan). Rotate halfway through. The crumb topping should be a deep golden brown. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Use the foil overhang to gently lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares or rectangles. (Or, if you're having a bad day, just grab a fork and go to town.)


  1. My kind of bars! They look so perfect and tempting.



  2. I was just wondering what I was going to do with the apricot jam in the fridge, and now you've solved that dilemma for me. These look terrific!
    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I'm looking forward to those goat cheese brownies.

  3. Sheer heaven! I love apricots...can't wait to give this recipe a try, Valerie. And with a base made of ground almonds, the flavor must be wonderful. Gorgeous presentation, too.

  4. I was once at a party where everyone was raving over the brownies. They were all gone so I didn't get to try one. I asked the baker how she made them, and she told me they were from a box. i had to fight hard to keep the horrified expression from my face! These bars look amazing on the other hand. Did you get to keep them all to yourself or did you find another coconut lover to share the bounty? Oh, and do you think I could mail these or are they too fragile and crumbly. I'll stop now. Really.

  5. @Mary, Luckily I know people who know people who like coconut. (Otherwise there would be a box of them headed your way.) :D

  6. J'en prendrais tout de suite..

    They look soo good..Thank you and Martha~
    No parties for me..Just family ..a minute amount of very special friends..etc..My faves..

  7. Hey Valerie, your Bar is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win? http://knapkins.com/guess_games/825?source=blog

  8. Voilà une version bien gourmande
    Je te souhaite un bon début de semaine

  9. Gosh I love slice/bar recipes. This looks perfect! Very homey indeed, but not messy..I think it's wonderfully neat and bright too

  10. So beautiful! Somehow eating dessert that has fruit in it makes you feel so much better about eating it!

  11. These look and sound really scrumptious...definitely bookmarking these for the holidays. I love apricot and coconut but can honestly say I've never had them together in a dessert. Wicked!!!!

  12. These are soooooo good! Thank you for posting. FYI, I didn't use sweetened coconut. Dessicated coconut worked just fine.


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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