Hey guys! Happy New Year man! In the spirit of a new year, I’m switching gears today to something bright and fresh with these Strawberry Apricot Bars. They’ve got a lemony crust, and it’ll have you dreaming of springtime.

 

I think we’re all in need of something lighter this time of year, right? Pretty sure I gained weight just looking at all the Christmas baking I did. I’m sharing these bars today because they are fresh, bright, lemony, and they feel like summer at a time where many of us are still stuck in the snow.

 

This recipe is actually a little riff off of my recipe for Blueberry Pie Bars. For this version, I’ve added a bunch of lemon juice and zest through the crust and topping, and the filling. We’re also using a combination of fresh strawberries and apricot jam. This way you get the freshness of strawberries, and the concentrated flavor of jam combined!

How to Make Strawberry Apricot Bars

You start off this recipe by making the dough, which will serve for both the bottom crust and the top crumb layer. The dough is a super simple shortbread cookie dough with the addition of lemon zest and lemon juice.

You want to press about 2/3 of the dough into a greased and parchment lined square cake pan. Next, we’re baking up that bottom layer until the edges are just slightly browned, and the dough is starting to set. This takes about 12 minutes.

While the crust is baking, you’ll simmer chopped strawberries, a touch of sugar and salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, and apricot jam until it becomes thick and jammy. This takes about 5-8 minutes for me on medium heat. Also during this time, you can mix the oats into the remaining dough.

Once the crust is baked, we’re pouring the jammy mixture over the top and spreading it to the edges. Break apart the dough and press it into small disc and crumbles to evenly arrange over the top of the bars, leaving space to breath. Then, bake the whole thing until the top is golden brown!

 

This recipe is super simple, and it’s just what we all need to take us out of the holiday season. Enjoy it guys!

Strawberry Apricot Bars

Servings 9 bars

Ingredients

For the crust and topping:

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. lemon zest
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats

For the filling:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries chopped
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam

Instructions

For the crust and topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside. 

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and powdered sugar. Add in the salt and vanilla extract. Add in the flour and beat until a dough forms. Press about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of your prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake in your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until just slightly golden on the edges. 

  3. With the remaining dough, mix in the oats. This should create a more crumbly dough. Set aside, uncovered (to create a more dry crumb).

For the filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, cornstarch, and apricot jam. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, for about 5-8 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and jammy. 

  2. Spread the mixture over the cooked crust evenly. Break apart the crumb topping and press into small pieces and crumbs and evenly spread over the top, leaving the jam layer visible. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden brown. 

  3. Cool completely in the pan before removing and slicing. Enjoy! 


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