raspberry-apricot bars

These wonderful raspberry-apricot bars were created by my dear friend Kelly Carey.  Kelly comes from three generations of fantastic bakers.  Kelly really should have her own baking blog, but I will happily feature her wonderful creations on foodie-isms until I convince her of this endeavor.  One bite of these raspberry-apricot bars and you will become a fan of Kelly’s baked goods too.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
2 eggs
1 (18 oz.) jar seedless raspberry preserves (I have used a combination of raspberry with blackberry, apricot, or orange marmalade when I didn’t have the large jar in my pantry, and it’s still tasty!)
1  plus 1/3 cups white chocolate chips (the “fake” chocolate, like Nestle Toll House, works best.  Real white chocolate tends to brown too quickly)
zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped

Directions

Heat oven to 350 F.  Line 10″x15″ pan with foil.

Combine sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in large bowl.  Beat at medium speed, until well mixed.  Reduce speed to low.  Beat, adding flour 1 cup at a time and scraping bowl often, until mixture is crumbly.

Remove 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture and set aside for later.

Add eggs to remaining mixture in bowl, beat until it forms a dough(1-2 minutes)  Press dough evenly into prepared pan.  It is a little sticky, so I like to lay wax paper or plastic wrap on top, then press with the bottom of a large measuring cup, so it is flat.  Bake for 30 minutes or until just barely brown on edges.

Meanwhile, mix preserves with orange zest and chopped apricots.  Spread preserves mixture over hot crust, then sprinkle with 1 cup white chocolate chips.  Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top, pinching some together to make larger crumbs.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until topping is lightly browned.

Melt 1/3 cup white chocolate chips microwave safe bowl  in microwave at 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth.  Spoon into small zip-top bag, then snip a tiny corner off.  Drizzle white chocolate over bars.  You may not need all of the melted chocolate.

Cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Makes at least 48 bars.

These are very festive, great for holidays, luncheons, and pack well for gift giving.

Kelly Carey is known for her baking abilities and tasty baked goods. She hosts the annual, much anticipated, neighborhood cookie exchange.  Most days she can be found in her kitchen creating delicious treats.


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