Luscious Apricot Squares

posted by Mimi Hiller 11-26-99 2:35 PM

Tina Ireland of Arkadelphia, Arkansas,
Luscious Apricot Square
Makes 16

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
2/3 cup dried apricots
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectionersí sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan, and set aside.

Place apricots in a small saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook until plumped, about 15 minutes. Drain in a fine sieve, and chop fine. Set aside.

Combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup butter, and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, blend until crumbly and combined. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using your hands, pat evenly into pan. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Combine remaining 1/3 cup flour, chopped apricots, brown sugar, eggs, walnuts, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, beat until combined; scrape down sides of bowl twice. Pour mixture over crust, and return to oven.

Bake until top is golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pan. Cut into 2-inch squares. Dust with confectionersí sugar.

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