Apricot and rosemary are probably not the first ingredients that come to your mind when you think about desserts. Think again! They are delightful together in these Apricot Rosemary Bars. The rosemary lends just a hint of herby freshness to the shortbread crust and the apricot filling is sweet and tart. Everything is topped off with an oatmeal streusel. I think these bars actually taste better after a couple of days, so they are great a dessert to make in advance.
The Perfect Pairing for Apricot Rosemary Bars are stainless steel measuring scoops. You might think that any old measuring device does the trick, but I beg to differ. I love my measuring scoops. That might make me strange, or it might mean I need a new hobby, or perhaps it just means that I have a slight obsession with collecting cool kitchen gadgets. I’ll own it. Anyway, if I have to measure out dry ingredients I always reach for my scoop measuring tools rather than the plastic measuring cups. The scoop shape makes it easier to measure and level out flour and sugar from a canister and, frankly, they make me happy.
Apricot Rosemary Bars
Adapted by Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine
· 1 ¾ cups flour
· ½ tsp salt
· 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced
· 12 Tb unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
· ½ cup powdered sugar
· ¾ tsp vanilla
· 2 cups dried California apricots
· ½ cup sugar
· 3 Tb honey
· 3 Tb brandy
· Pinch of salt
· 1 ½ cups water
· ½ cup flour
· ½ cup packed brown sugar
· ½ cup oat fashioned oats
· Pinch of salt
· 3 Tb cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Line an 11x7 inch pan with foil, allowing a small overhang. Spray the foil with cooking spray. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and rosemary with a whisk. In a mixer (on medium speed) beat the butter until creamy; add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Reduce to low speed and add the dry ingredients in intervals, until combined. Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press with floured hands into an even layer. Evenly prick the dough (or dock the dough) with a fork to allow it to vent. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake shortbread for 20-30 minutes, or until light golden brown. Rotate pan once during cooking. Allow to cool.
Combine the apricots, sugar, honey, brandy, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the water and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 50-60 minutes, or until the apricots are tender, the mixture has thickened, and the liquid has evaporated. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer the apricot mixture to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, and salt. Mix on low until just combined. Add the butter and continue mixing until a coarse meal forms.
Spread the apricot filling over the shortbread and sprinkle on the streusel topping. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until the streusel topping has browned slightly. Allow to cool completely. Lift out the foil to cut the bars.