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Apricot Squares

I love holiday baking. I love the tradition, making the same cookies each year. Sure, I'll try a few which are new or different, but there is something about sorting through the handwritten recipes, yellowed with age and spotted with the remnants of spills and other mishaps which occurred over the years that feels special.

I wasn't looking for this apricot square recipe, it was only per chance that I decided to unfold the paper and see what was there. It was dated 11.21.01, and I could just picture myself sitting at the kitchen table in my best friend's house writing it out. This is her mom's recipe, and I loved them so much I asked her for it.

Even though I hadn't made them in years, the moment I saw it, I immediately wanted to make them, and they did not disappoint. Recipes like this one are the reason I wanted to create this blog.

-Lydia

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Apricot Squares


Ingredients:
Shortbread Layer
½ cup of butter, softened
1 cup flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
Apricot Layer
¾ cup dried apricots
½ cup of chopped walnuts
2 eggs, lightly beaten
⅓ cup flour
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon of salt

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line an 8"x8" pan with parchment paper - alternatively, grease the pan with butter.
  2. Combine all shortbread ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until crumbly, then press into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
  3. While shortbread is baking, place apricots in a pan with just enough water to cover, bring to a boil and then reduce, let simmer until plump, about 15 minutes. Drain, then chop.
  4. Combine all ingredients for the apricot layer, beat until just combined.
  5. Top the shortbread with the apricot mixture and return to the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. When cooled, top with powdered sugar if desired.

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