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Friday, March 18, 2011

Apricot Almond Bars

Yesterday my sweet neighbor gave me some baby things for my grand daughter. As a way to say "thank you" I decided to bake these Apricot Almond Bars for her family. She always loves when I bring my baked goods to their house and I'm sure she will love these too!
These are very sweet bars and actually need to be cut very small as the richness of them can do you in :) The mixture of the apricot, almond and coconut blends perfectly well together. I'm sure you could make these with any type of fruit preserves that you would like, but I think the citrus and tang of the apricot blends best with the other tastes involved.
Base:
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1/2 cut butter, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup Apricot preserves

Filling:
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/3 cup Apricot preserves
1/2 cup coconut

Heat oven to 350. Grease a baking dish. (You can use the 13 X 9 size if you want thinner bars, mine were made in a 9 X 7 for thicker bars). In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix and melted butter on low- med speed. Mix in the almonds. Reserve 1 cup of that mixture and set aside. Put the remaining mixture into the bottom of the well greased pan. Press it down evenly on the bottom of the pan. Carefully spread 1 cup of the apricot preserves over the mixture pressed into pan. (You might want to heat your preserves just a bit to make them easier to spread). In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla and egg until well blended. Mix in 1/3 cup preserves. Spread this mixture over the base in the prepared pan. Sprinkle 1 cup reserved base mixture over the top of the filling. Sprinkle coconut over the entire pan. Bake at 350 for 40 min. (longer if you are using a smaller pan for thicker bars. Just check with toothpick to make sure the inside is done)

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