Sunday, June 19, 2011

Baked Sunday Mornings…Rosemary Apricot Squares

 Rosemary Apricot Squares

Over the years, I have accumulated quite a few different types of baking pans. My family would tell you "there's not a baking pan mom doesn't have". Then why, when I go into my cabinet, could I not find a 9 inch square baking pan?  I did have an 8 inch square pan and thought…what's an inch? As an experienced baker, I know an inch could make a big difference. It was going to have to do!
This week is "Baked Sunday Mornings"!  The recipe chosen was for these beautiful Rosemary Apricot Squares. The idea of adding the rosemary to the crust did not appeal to me, even though I really love the flavor.  I wasn't sure I would like it in a sweet pastry.
Making the crust was fairly easy... everything in the mixer and pressed into my 8 inch square pan,   refrigerate and then bake.
The apricot filling took more time, easy to put together but, almost an hour to simmer on the stove. Finally, scraped into a food processor and blended until smooth.  Now, prepare the crumb topping by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl on the stand mixer and it's ready to use.  Spread the filling on top of the baked crust…sprinkle on the crumbs and bake.
Here's where the 8 inch pan made a difference. Mine were fatter and would definitely be difficult to eat out of the hand. These are a dessert I probably would not have chosen to make, but I'm so glad I did. These bars were delicious and I really enjoyed the merging of the different flavors. The shortbread crust was wonderful. The apricot filling so good it was worth the time it took. I will definitely be making these again...when I get my 9 inch pan!
This recipe can be found in the book Baked Explorations or here at Baked Sunday Mornings!!

Rosemary shortbread pressed into pan

Apricot mixture 

Apricot mixture ready to be spread onto baked crust

Crumbs on top and ready for the oven



  1. Your bars look beautiful with the thicker layers, Kathy! I also like your thicker crumb. Mine was more like the sand consistency that was mentioned in the recipe, but when I make it again don't want to mix it quite as long.

  2. I agree with Elaine! My crumb mixture was also too sandy, and I love how yours is so much more chunky. Yum!

  3. Your photos look positively dreamy! These bars look great!

  4. Love the color of ur apricots , did u use fresh ones ??
    And love love love that last pic with the mint leaf , soo pretty and contrasting!
    Mine were fatter too and thinner ones would be easier to cut thru but i thought maybe thats coz i used a pie plate :-)

  5. Great looking bars! Seems like all of us were a bit apprehensive about the flavor combination but were all sold on it in the end!

  6. Beautiful post! And you made me laugh. I've always been a baker, but as I kids have left home I've filled some of the hours that I used to spend helping with homework as a more serious cook/party girl. And as the bedrooms have emptied of children I have filled them with my projects. (right now I have a wedding and a Town party I'm working on...and family birthdays and 4th of July...lots of piles) Poor hubby. He thinks I need to have a huge garage sale, give stuff away or whatever. Our house is fairly neat and orderly considering all the people I have here every day, but every closet, every nook and cranny, the garage, my garden shed (we cook outside too).....loaded up with my cooking/baking supplies. I even keep the air conditioning on better in one bedroom where I keep all my chocolate, etc a little cooler...all nice and neat in the closet. (I am Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table's best customer.) We have our office building and own a vacant lot behind and I tease hubby that I will build my bakery as soon as we retire from our current work...which will really be never...but it is a nice dream. I too have every baking pan and gadget imaginable...the neighbors come to borrow almost every day. They all know I have it whatever it is. And at church I am in charge of parties, we help the neighborhood kids and my relatives with wedding receptions, etc. Friday we did a party for 100 at church. So things would not get mixed up I just brought all the serving utensils, most of the bowls etc etc...I overheard one friend tell Hubby that it is "scary" all the stuff we have. I think Hubby agrees...but he volunteers me often to be in charge of parties and we also do lots of volunteer stuff for the Town of Gilbert and it somehow always involves food. So I guess I am scary. But it is nice to know that I have a partner in "scary" out there who might understand my obsessive hobby...and I keep telling hubby that my hobby benefits the family, the whole neighborhood, the Town, and Church...and I'm happy, happy, happy when I do it...

  7. Great photos, Kathy! I don't have a 9 x 9 inch pan either! LOL! I agree - they were far better than I expected - and I will make them again, too.

  8. Hahaha....I have quite an accumilation of baking supplies also! But did not have a 9" square pan either! I used a 7'x10". Kris I understand the obsession also!

    Nice Pics Kathy....your bars look delish!

  9. great looking squares, but seriously, is 9 inch a standard size? i was happy to have a thicker crust because it was awesome, but i thought there was too much filling for the 8 inch pan :)

  10. Love the step by step photos. Your bars look great, even with the smaller pan.

  11. Kathy-
    So did you like the rosemary in the crust? I'm on the fence about that too and wonder if I omit will I be sorry?

  12. Once again excellent photos...just great! Let me tell you NO ONE in the world has more cook books and baking equipment then Kathy, and I do mean no one!!! At least 500 cook books! No kidding, minimum that many, but she reads them like novels and bakes like a dream!

  13. these look so great! I used an 8 inch pan also and mine were thicker like yours. so delicious though!

  14. Kathy...I, like you have so many pans...and yet, I'm always missing the one I seem to need when trying a new recipe...sigh.

    I quite honestly would not have tried Rosemary in any of my desserts, however, since you've made it sound alluring enough...I may one day be more adventurous also...especially when apricots are involved ;o)

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,

  15. These looked really great, and I am such a fan of apricots!!:D
    They are hard to come by here, and we have to wait for the season for them to fly in:)

  16. Hi Kathy,
    It was so nice meeting you last month!! What a small world :-) Your blog is such an inspiration to me, just beautiful. I have so many plans and now maybe I will have the time to become more regular and creative. Seems like blogger is having problems with many of us...I have lost all my followers and it looks like you have too (and no way to follow) I look forward to your posts and the next time you visit Cary/Apex let me know and we can get together for lunch!!

  17. Kathy-Still trying to figure out the Baked Sunday Mornings, as to why you are assigned these recipes, and then leaving your link.
    The apricot bars look scrumptious and delcious.
    I would never have thought about putting rosemary in the crust, but then again...I remember a lemond poundcake with chopped rosemary in that, as well, so it's quite a unique idea.
    The apricot spread looks yummy, and so does the crumb topping. Not to worry about the pan not being 9 inches. That one inch certainly will not make a difference in the baking. Love, how your apricot bars turned out. Thanks for the inspiration...think I would like to try this:D

  18. This just sounds heavenly! Apricots and rosemary! I know I would love rosemary in this as I've used it in shortbread cookies.

  19. These sound delicious and I love the golden apricot filling! Anything with streusel always catches my eye but I admit that I skipped by this recipe too b/c of the rosemary. It was great to read your post and hear you all enjoyed these. I'll have to give them a try.