I can't remember why I bought the bag of apricots that has been languishing in my pantry cupboard. There were a lot of them at one point but the stash has diminished greatly due to voracious snacking. I like dried apricots - they're chewy, healthy and easy to bake with. I also found a lonely bag of coconut so I decided they'd be good friends and threw them together into one tasty bar.
To make this bar cookie, you need to soften up the apricots by simmering them in a liquid. I chose water but you could also add more flavour by using orange juice or Citrus Five Alive - whatever you fancy. Once they're a bit mushier (but not like a puree) you mix it up with a whole bunch of other good stuff and bake it over a shortbread crust. I was unsure how they would come out but I needn't have worried.
After 30 minutes they were done and a nice light shade of brown. I let them cool for a bit and them sliced them up into neat squares. So far so good but, as they say, they proof is in the pudding or eating or something. The bars were surprisingly delicious. I knew they'd taste good, but not this good. They buttery crust went together amazingly well with the sweet chewy apricot filling. I chopped my apricots a little larger so I had nice big chunks intermingled with coconut and crunchy almonds. A winner on all accounts. They're perfect for a dessert tray and if you throw in some dried cranberries, they'd look even prettier.
Recipe: Apricot Coconut Almond Squares