Thursday, May 01, 2008

Apricots & Chocolate (& Pecans?)

For I Have to Say's recipe box swap this month, I made Apricot Chocolate Bars (with & without pecans). I was feeling adventurous because although I've had the recipe for 10? years, I haven't made them that often because as I remember, it took an awfully long time to complete.

Tip: Wet your knife between cuts so that the meringue doesn't stick to the knife.

But as I sifted through my own recipe box, I figured hey, why not give it another shot? I guess 10 years makes for a foggy mind because it was not long or difficult to do at all. The only thing is the OOPS factor! This time I decided to omit the finely chopped pecans because I thought ~ that's okay, why do I need them?~ Well if you like a spongier type of meringue then omit the pecans. If you like a nice flaky-style top, add the pecans. Both are good. BUT WARNING: this is very sweet that you only need a tiny bit - cut them into small squares.

Apricot & Chocolate Bars (with & without pecans)
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs (separated) - you can throw out 2 yolks (or use them for something else)
9 oz. apricot jam
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini)
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups finely chopped pecans (I omitted this and the 'oops' recipe is shown)

A. Cream butter & 1/2 cup sugar. Add 2 yolks, beat well. Then mix in flour.

mixture will look like crumbs - use your fingers to press

B. Press mixture into a jelly-roll pan (roughly 15 x 10 x 2) which has been lightly greased. Bake 350 F for 15-20 min or until lightly browned.

Behold - the power of KitchenAid!

C. Meanwhile, whip egg whites (all 4 of them) and salt until foamy. Add in 3/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. (Fold in chopped pecans if using.)

Make sure you use a potholder! And a cooling rack so you don't hurt relatively-new countertops.

D. Take out hot crust from oven. Spread with jam, sprinkle with chocolate...

pre-spread picture - looks like little clouds

E. and spread with meringue mixture (making sure you seal in edges).

after spread picture

F. Bake 25 more min. or until meringue is golden. Cut immediately into bars. Let cool before removing from pan and ...

The dreaded aftermath!
G. Clean up.

Variation: substitute raspberry jam for apricot

Remember: if you want soft meringue top - omit pecans; if you want flaky top - add pecans.


Jessica said...

Looks yummy. Thanks for the recipe!

Firefly Nights said...

I think I'll have to make mine with the pecans. I love nuts in baked goods.

Berlinswhimsy said...

Mmmm, this sounds so yummy!!

Kathy said...

What a great recipe! Strawberry would be good too. Can't wait to try it...Kathy@ Mimi's Garden

jessi said...

what a unique recipe - looks delicious! a definite must try!

Isdihara said...

Wow, your recipe photos look gorgeous! I will be trying this recipe for sure!

Thanks for sharing a long-held recipe!

randi---i have to say said...

I am going to try this with the raspberry jam--it sounds delicious!

Jane @ What About Mom? said...

Those pics are gorgeous! The merengue -y crust is so beautiful. Can't wait to try -- might do the raspberry jam too.

Joy said...

Oooh, this is dangerous. Very dangerous. For my waistline. But wait, there's fruit!