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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Apricot Almond Squares



Sunshine has been in scarce supply around here this week. In spite of the rain, however, I do think the days are brightening and when the sun does shine, it's brilliant! 

I spent much of the afternoon in the kitchen, getting ready for next week. A pot of vegetable soup, a double batch of meatballs, vegetables prepped, and a pan of squares baked. 

After all of that I sat down with a cup of tea, a candle and a freshly baked Apricot Almond Square. 

As I cut the squares I thought about the size of things. Have you noticed how HUGE cookies are now? Our local grocery store offers free cookies to toddlers to munch while their parents shop. They last the entire shopping trip. Recipes used to say, "drop by heaping teaspoonfuls" but judging by the size of these cookies, they are measured out by cup fractions. Bar cookies, (called squares here) are much the same. I think the increased size encourages us to eat too much, don't you? I still make my cookies on the small side. And cut my squares about 2". 

Moving on...


Here's the recipe:

Apricot Almond Square

Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
2/3 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup butter

Whirl the above together in a food processor until it comes together in a crumbly dough that can be pressed together. Without a food processor the mixture can be mixed by hand or with a mixer. Press into the bottom, and about 1/2 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Topping:
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup apricot jam (I used homemade jam, any flavour would work, except you'd have to change the name!)
1 Tablespoon melted butter 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sliced almonds

Mix the egg, jam, butter and vanilla together. Spread over the hot crust. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Linking with Sunlit Sunday, hosted by Karen of My Little Home and Garden. 

28 comments:

  1. I'll have one! I like small too! Then you can have two! =)

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  2. Oh Lorrie thank you for your Apricot Almond Squares recipe - my mouth started watering as soon as I saw your photo!
    I'm like you when it comes to size in cafe foods.
    There are several cafes I don't go to for this reason - no wonder there is an obesity problem world wide.
    When I'm out for lunch I usually choose a small club sandwich and sometimes a little cake with yoghurt on the side.
    You've brought warmth and sunshine into your kitchen today!

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  3. We call them squares here, too. Yes, portion size is crazy! I recently switched my cookie scoop to a smaller one and John never said a word. Thing os that the cookies last several days now, which I find a very good thing. Thanks for the recipe. It does sound delicious.

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  4. I am just about to enjoy a cup of hot apple cider and this would be the perfect addition :) These look delicious, my friend. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Have a blessed Sunday! Hugs!

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  5. Your recipe is wonderful and I sure do know what you mean about the size of things. Could it mean consumers are more concerned about their buck? Still, it takes away from the charm.

    Thanks for a great recipe--I can't wait to try it!

    Jane

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  6. I'll have a small square please - they look so delicious. We are having a birthday party here on Tuesday and the chosen dessert for the birthday boy is cheesecake. For those who don't care as much for cheesecake (that would be me, for one) I think I'll make your almond squares - and I happen to have homemade apricot jam too. They look so good. I've started the sauce for the lasagna today too - I like to get extra cooking done on these stormy weekends.

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  7. Hello, Lorrie! Your recipe looks wonderful and the photos are very beautiful.
    Wishing you sunny days and a happy new week!

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  8. They look delicious! Thank you for sharing x

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  9. Lorrie, I totally agree with you all portions these days seems to be getting bigger. Eating more makes you want to eat more. It's a vicious circle indeed. Saying that this recipe looks divine. Thank you for the share I will definitely make these x

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  10. Hello,Lorrie,
    Looks simply delicious., 2" square sounds just like the right size to me..sending some sunshine your way.
    Xo
    Dagmar

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  11. How smart you are to plan your meals ahead of your busy week. Thank you for the bar recipe because it looks delicious. Have a great week. :-)

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  12. Those squares look delicious. I know what you mean about the size of bakery items in the stores, in fact if my husband and I go out we share one. Enjoy the day.

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  13. I think apricots pair so nicely with almonds. Your recipe looks delicious. Thanks for sharing it with us. As for the portion sizes, I agree with you. Sadly I think it is showing on many waistlines.

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  14. Yummy! This recipe sounds so good. I'm collecting recipes for the Chinese New Year and this would be lovely -- the almonds make it! I agree about sizes of food and portions. Happy Sun Lit Sunday!

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  15. Delish, I make a version of this with marzipan. The sun has been such a welcomed site this week!! Clarice

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  16. Thank you Lorrie! I was just leafing through cookbooks trying to find something to bake that really appealed to me and this reminds me of a jam square my mom used to make. It made a lot for the four lunches I was in charge of making each school day. I will look forward to baking this afternoon with your recipe!

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  17. Those squares are lighting up my grey world! They really look delicious!

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  18. Good looking squares. I think we call them "bars." I guess you do some cooking ahead to make it easier during the week when you are at school each day.

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  19. I like smaller sized squares and cookies too, much daintier to have with a cup of tea and for hubby, he gets a few more. I like apricot jam and usually have some on hand, thanks for sharing your recipe.

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  20. These look so delicious!! Thank you for sharing your recipe.
    I, too, notice how food has been up-sized. That is, unless we're talking about the pound of coffee that became 12-ounces, or the half-gallon of ice cream that became 1.5 quarts, or the 5-pound bag of sugar that became a 4-pound bag. :)

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  21. Better by the teaspoon.
    Except maybe when it comes to chocolate anything!
    Have a great week, Lorrie.

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  22. Serving sizes are definitely way out of control. But people have gotten so used to the idea of more, that if they are served a normal sized portion, they think they are being ripped off. Many nice restaurants here have had to start serving buffet food because people complain about the small portions they get when they order off the menu, which is why 1 in 4 adults has diabetes in this country. I make my cookies small, too. It's the only way I have enough to share and consume. :) Happy February! Happy new week!

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  23. I was just thinking how much my mother would have liked this recipe, Lorrie. She made date squares for my brother, as well as wonderful lemon ones, and loved apricot jam. The squares look delicious. Portions have definitely increased over the years. Have you noticed the large plates and soup bowls have been in dishware sets? What a great idea, by the way, to do so much meal preparation ahead of time.

    Karen

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  24. So true...that the cookies of today are much larger than the cookies of my childhood. Your squares look yummy...and I'd be happy to have one in any size right about now.

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  25. Your squares are just the right size and look delicious! Love anything with apricot. Oh I want my oven back, I am missing not baking. Friday there will be a new one in my kitchen and I have all kinds of baking planned.

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  26. Those look mmm~mm! Sort of healthy? Dried apricots have lots of iron, at least.
    I reckon its better to have a small portion but be able to have it a bit more often!
    I crave something sweet after a meal, sometimes, but not TOO sweet.
    Have you tried using coconut oil in bakes similar to this? It is so good for you.
    I have to use it, or sunflower marg as butter does not like me :(

    Blessings, Lorrie!

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  27. Hi Lorrie
    Your bars look delicious! We have a local bakery that sells bars that are 4'x4'.
    Ridiculous!
    I love to get my cooking all done in one day too. It's so nice not to have to worry daily about what to fix.
    Have a good week=Kimberly

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