Figgy, Apricot Jam Bars

This afternoon, I found myself craving Giada De Laurentiis’ Simple Baklava, but the recipe is just too darn involved for a steamy day like today.

So I took a basic jam bar recipe from a family friend named Rhea and played around with it to create these figgy, apricot jam bars.  Spicy, sweet, and wonderful.

I broke a bar open so the fruity jam filling spilled out onto the plate...

Figgy, Apricot Jam Bars
Makes 12-15 bars.

Ingredients:
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup crushed pecans

(almonds or walnuts would be delicious too, ooh, what about walnuts with pear preserves??  oh, I digress…)

2 tablespoons of apricot preserves
3/4 cup of fig preserves

Equipment:
Electric mixer
Square baking dish
Meat mallet

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Crush the nuts.  I used a plastic food storage bag and a meat mallet.  It’s like baking therapy.

Crush away!

Mix the flour, powdered sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and crushed nuts together in a large bowl.  If using a stand mixer, use the bowl that attaches to the mixer.

The smell of this crust is just...heaven.

Add the softened butter.

Add the softened butter to the crumb crust.

Use an electric mixer to combine the butter with the dry ingredients.

Every so often, a buttery speck...

Mix together the apricot and fig preserves in a small bowl.

Two of my favorite flavors together: apricot and fig. I recommend using jam with fruit bits inside, it makes a tastier bar!

Begin to layer the bars in an ungreased, square, baking dish:

First, 3/4 of the crumb mixture:

Press and flatten the bottom crust into the baking dish.

Then the jam filling:

It's the jam!

Finally, the remaining crumbs:

Ready to bake! If you want less of a top crust, leave only enough crumbs to sprinkle on top of the jam.

Press the crumbly topping down to make a nice, flat surface.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bars begin to become lightly brown at the edges.  Remove from the oven.

Cool the bars and cut them into squares.

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