Saturday, July 26, 2014

Apricot Almond Coconut Bars

Apricot Season is over for us, we have about 5 lbs of dried fruit and 30 lbs of frozen fruit put away.  For the two weeks that is took to harvest them, we ate apricots morning, noon and night.  One of my favorite new apricot recipes is this one for Apricot Almond Coconut Bars. They were so good, I made them twice.
I started by making a shortbread crust that I baked for 30 minutes before I topped it with 2 cups of chopped apricots.  This is a great recipe for using up over ripe and blemished fruit.  Just cut off the bad parts and you're ready to go.

When the shortbread crust cools a bit, top it with the chopped apricots.

Next, I made a top crust that was filled with chopped coarsely chopped almonds and coconut.  You're going to want to use the large flake, unsweetened coconut for this.  Apricots, almonds and coconut go so well together, I really love this combination of flavors.  

I mixed the almonds and coconut with some flour, sugar, baking powder, Earth Balance, and a little rice milk and vanilla extract, before I crumbled the mixture on top of the apricots.  (I like to line the pan with parchment paper first, it makes it so easy to remove the bars when they're done.

I baked the whole thing for another 25 - 30 minutes and then let it cool completely before I cut them into squares.  

Apricot Almond Coconut Bars
Makes 9 large bars or 16 smaller ones - Use organic ingredients whenever possible

For the Shortbread Layer:
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons ground flax
1/2 cup Earth Balance whipped butter substitute
2/3 cups unbleached sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups white whole wheat flour (King Arthur)
2/3 cups unbleached white flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Topping:
2 cups chopped fresh apricots
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour (King Arthur)
1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1/3 cup unbleached white sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons Earth Balance whipped butter substitute
2/3 cups large flake unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
1 tablespoon of rice milk (or other non dairy milk)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350˚
Mix the water and the ground flax together.
Grease a 9" square pan and line with parchment paper.
Cream the Earth Balance and sugar for two minutes.
Add the vanilla and flax mixture to the creamed butter and sugar.
Mix until incorporated.
Whisk together the two flours and salt.
Mix the flour mixture into the butter and sugar.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove the crust from your oven and set aside to cool.
Whisk together the sugar, flours and baking powder.
Cut the Earth Balance into the flour mixture.
Mix the coconut and almonds into the flour mixture.
Mix the rice milk with the vanilla.
Sprinkle the rice milk mixture over the flour mixture.
Stir to dampen the flours.
Put the chopped apricots on top of the crust.
Crumble the topping mixture over the chopped apricots.
Press the topping down, very gently, into the apricots.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
Let the bars cool for at least an hour before cutting them.

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