Layers of coconut and almond filled cookie dough and apricot preserves make these Coconut Apricot Bars scrumptious and unforgettable. If getting ripe and juicy fresh apricots is nearly impossible where you live, these jam bars are the solution for any cravings!
I just returned from a food blogger conference in Chicago and shared these bars in my first blogger recipe swap to rave reviews. It’s super easy to tweak this recipe with your favorite preserves!
I love having the opportunity to bake for other foodies and needed to pull out all the stops. I was going to attend my first ever Eat Write Retreat blogger conference in Chicago, and one of the optional events was to do a food swap.
I had a few criteria in the back of my mind: scrumptious, of course, portable and visually appealing. But I also saw it as an opportunity to bake up some treats that my family might snub—silly people don’t like apricots, coconut or nuts. So I turned to this recipe for buttery layered coconut apricot bars to share with both old and new blogger friends. The gal that won my bars indulged after her morning run. She gushed how they were so buttery and practically melted in her mouth! Yup, they’re delicious!
Check out how to cut the perfect cookie bars to make these bars perfect for gifting!
Out of This World Coconut Apricot Bars
I love it when a recipe surpasses my expectations. These tender bars with a multitude of textures between the jam, buttery cookie dough, nuts, and coconut just made me swoon. I was relieved that I was packing the majority of them up for the convention.
One fellow blogger approached me the morning after the swap telling me she was now following my blog so she could get the recipe—as well as admitting she was just going to eat one bar, but somehow all 3 disappeared. Another very fit friend said she tried not to think of how much butter was in these as she savored each bite.
Moderation is my motto. These easy bar cookies are worth the splurge!
Tips for Making Bar Cookies:
- PRO- Tip: Line your baking pan with non-stick foil. This will prevent the jam from sticking to the sides of the pan. It also helps so you can lift out the bars as a whole onto your cutting board.
- These bars are so rich and tender, that you’ll want to chill them before removing from the pan and cutting. Cold bars are easier to slice into neat squares. They taste best served at room temperature.
- As with most baking, the ingredients will mix better at room temperature. The butter should not be so warm that it looks greasy, just soft so you can easily cream it with the sugar.
- I haven’t tried this, but if you’d like slightly thicker bars, try baking this recipe in an 11 x 7-inch pan. They will need to be baked longer due to the depth. It’s wise to drop the temperature 25 degrees as well to compensate for the longer baking time.
- You are not limited to apricot preserves. These bars will be just as amazing with your favorite jams or preserves.
- I like using apricot preserves not apricot jam in these bars. Preserves have little chunks of fruit and add the texture you can’t get with jam.
- Note that these apricot crumble bars are tender and delicate due to the butter and preserves. It’s best to leave them in the baking pan until you’re ready to serve. Some readers have suggested adding some extra flour to the batter. If you’d like a sturdier bar, try adding 2-4 tablespoons more flour.
- Store the pan in the refrigerator, covered tightly with foil. These bars will also freeze well.
How Do You Store Apricot Bars?
These should be stored in an airtight container. They’ll be OK on the counter for a day, but as I mentioned above, I prefer keeping them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for the best results.
What to Do With Leftover Apricot Preserves
Try a smear of apricot preserves on a ham and cheese sandwich for a sweet-salty party in your mouth. Use to glaze carrots or a ham. Or how about thumbprint cookies?
More Bar Cookies You’ll Love:
Bar cookies take less time to make than single cookies! They’re the perfect way to serve a crowd. Check out some of my favorites.
- Caramel Magic Cookie Bars from Love from the Oven — I can never resist a magic cookie bar, but with caramel? Amazing!
- White Chocolate Raspberry Bars
- Caramel Stuffed Rice Krispie Treats
- Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars
- Fresh Peach Pie Bars
- Caramel Apple Pie Toffee Bars
- Hot Fudge Cheesecake Bars
- Plus if you love fruit desserts, a fresh raspberry crisp is one of our favorite, one of my easy Raspberry Recipes
- More Bar Cookie Recipes
- 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour*
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups coconut, I used sweetened Angel Flake
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds plus more to sprinkle over bars
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 13-ounce jar apricot preserves (may use other flavors)
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick foil (or regular foil sprayed with cooking spray).
- In large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg, mix well. Mix together the flour and baking powder and add to the butter mixture. Add coconut, nuts and vanilla, blending well.
- Press two-thirds of the dough into the prepared baking pan. Spread with preserves. Crumble remaining dough over top of preserves. Sprinkle with a handful more of almonds if desired.
- Bake at 350° for 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.
*Some readers have suggested the crust may need some extra flour due to it's delicate nature. If you'd like a sturdier bar, you could add 2-4 tablespoons more flour to the batter.
Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
A Whirlwind Weekend in Chicago
Besides the fabulous, highly recommended Eat Write Retreat blogger conference, I also squeezed in a reunion with 17 of my dearest sorority sisters. I was able to reconnect with some treasured friends, many of whom I hadn’t seen in decades.
And the conference gave me the opportunity to interact with a magnificent group of bloggers, a few who had been only virtual friends till this retreat. Kudos to Casey Benedict and Robyn Webb, the conference organizers, for sharing their vast knowledge and welcoming us all so graciously. The event was held at the funky Catalyst Ranch in the West Loop—if this place doesn’t trigger creativity, nowhere will. Now I need a nap.