Side angle of rosemary apricot bars, highlighting filling
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5 from 2 votes

Rosemary Apricot Bars

These rosemary apricot bars are full of amazing flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Inactive Prep30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Rosemary Apricot Bars
Servings: 16 bars (approximately)
Calories: 322kcal
Author: Jennifer Farley

Ingredients

For the rosemary dough:

  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 2 ounces confectioners' sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped (see notes)
  • 8 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cups)

For the apricot filling:

  • 2 cups dried apricots (14 ounces)
  • 1/2 cups dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (omit if using California dried apricots)
  • 3 3/4 ounces granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Instructions

  • Grease the inside of an 8x8 or 9x9 inch nonstick pan (I use baking spray with flour) and line it with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides of the pan.
  • Prepare the Rosemary Shortbread: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, confectioners' sugar and salt on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the vanilla and rosemary, then lower the speed and gradually add the flour until the dough is smooth.
  • Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the dough is chilled, bake the shortbread for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. Allow shortbread to cool to room temperature.
  • Prepare the Apricot Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the apricots, white wine, water, lemon juice, sugar, honey, brandy, and salt over medium heat. Once simmering, cook for 10 minutes, then increase the heat to medium-high. Boil until the remaining liquid is mostly reduced, stirring frequently, about 3-4 minutes. Allow the filling to cool until it's still warm but no longer scorching hot (you can speed this process up in the refrigerator), then transfer to a food processor. Pulse several times to chop the apricots, then puree until smooth but with some texture.
  • Prepare the Crumb Topping: Place the flour, brown sugar, pecans, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, stirring to combine. Add the butter and then, using a fork or clean fingers, press the ingredients together until the butter is incorporated (some pea-sized pieces of butter here and there are fine). 
  • Spread the apricot filling evenly on top of the shortbread, taking care to make sure it's level (optionally, you can lightly grease the exposed sides of the pan to make sure the filling doesn't stick to the sides). Sprinkle the topping over the apricot layer evenly and gently press into place. 
  • Bake until the topping is golden brown and slightly firm, 25-30 minutes for an 8x8-inch pan, or 20-25 minutes for a 9x9-inch pan. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to one week. You can also wrap and freeze the bars for up to 3 months (make sure they're not touching or are wrapped individually). 

Notes

You can use anywhere from 1-2 teaspoons of rosemary, depending on how subtle or strong you want the flavor to be. 1 1/2 teaspoons is a happy medium.
How to Omit The Alcohol: The wine and brandy add a wonderful flavor to the filling, but you can omit them. Simply replace them with equal parts water (so 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) so there's enough liquid to reconstitute the dried apricots. 
Make-Ahead Tips: You can optionally break this recipe up over a few days. The rosemary shortbread layer can sit for 1-2 days at room temperature after baking. You can also prepare the apricot filling and topping 1-2 days beforehand. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 
Adapted from David Lebovitz

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 11.7% | Vitamin C: 0.9% | Calcium: 1.9% | Iron: 8.1%