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Winning Apricot Bars

This recipe is down-home baking at its best, and it really represents all regions of the country. It's won blue ribbons at county fairs and cookie contests in several states! Easy to make, it's perfect for potluck suppers, bake sales, lunchboxes or just plain snacking.—Jill Moritz, Irvine, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 jar (10 to 12 ounces) apricot preserves

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Fold in coconut and walnuts.
  • Press two-thirds of dough onto the bottom of a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Spread with preserves; crumble remaining dough over preserves. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • To soften butter super-quick, partially unwrap the butter (use the wrapped half as a handle to keep your hand clean) and shred it using the largest holes of your box grater. The butter will reduce to a fluffy heap and soften faster. Shredded butter is ready to use in your recipe right away.
  • Do you know the difference between jam and preserves? Preserves contain larger chunks—whole small fruit or big pieces of larger fruits—suspended in a thick gelled syrup. While jams are often made with bruised or squashed fruit (it's getting cooked anyway), preserves can showcase a perfect fruit.
  • Hungry for more? Try these apricot recipes that are a step above the rest.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 bar: 195 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 72mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.
    Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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    Reviews

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    Average Rating:
    • Chela
      Jul 1, 2020

      I don't like coconut so subbed a cup of almond meal, and added some sliced almonds along with the walnuts. This was good, but I didn't put enough jam in, so it was a bit dough-heavy. (My fault, not the recipe's fault!). Still, this was easy and good, and let my homemade apricot jam be the star.

    • jwd715
      May 8, 2020

      Super easy and delicious!

    • AvidcookGAtoCA
      Feb 28, 2020

      Excellent treat with a cup of coffee or hot tea! I swapped peach preserves for the apricot and it was a big hit! These are very rich, so cut into small squares - great for a party tray.

    • Laura
      Sep 27, 2019

      Great recipe! Everyone loved it!

    • Hamulet
      Sep 27, 2019

      This is wonderful! I made the recipe exactly as written except for using an 11x7 pan, and we loved it. I highly recommend!

    • LAPBAND1
      Aug 10, 2019

      Excellent I used 18 ounces of apricot preserves plus more walnuts !

    • kimspacc
      Jul 30, 2019

      These were a big hit! I used a bit less jam and coconut to reduce the sugar, and they were still delicious.

    • Naomie
      Jul 15, 2019

      Yes, they can be frozen. I make with fresh apricots too, turns out fantastic!

    • laura
      Jun 25, 2019

      Thanks for the recipe, we enjoyed it. I used 18 oz. of preserves. Here's a tip: take the lid off the glass jar of jam and microwave for a minute or two. It makes it easy to spread.

    • sharpcarol
      Jul 19, 2018

      I would recommend that you place more of crum mixture on bottom layer when there is lee on top, it's as pretty as the picture.