Apricot Almond Slices


I was expecting guests one day and needed to whip up something sweet to offer them with coffee. I often make a crostata, either with jam or with fresh fruit because they are so easy to put together yet so delicious, but this day I decided to experiment a bit. My Mother-In-Law makes these delicious apricot sliced cookies that are a cross between a cookie and a cake. I wanted something similar but with more of a buttery shortbread type of crust. I found an old shortbread recipe I often use as a base for squares, and topped that with some of my homemade Apricot Amaretto Jam. To finish it off I added slivered almonds and was very pleased with the results, as were our guests.

To toast the almonds, place on a baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until they just begin to color. The one thing I might do differently next time is to change the size of the pan. The original shortbread crust recipe called for an 8-inch pan but as I am just getting my kitchen set up here in Umbria all I had was a 9 inch pan. I think a little thicker crust would give these cookie slices more substance. You could use any fruit jam of choice in this recipe with great results.This dessert is best eaten within a day or two of baking.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Apricot Almond Slices

Apricot jam and toasted almonds top a shortbread type of crust in this tasty bar cookie.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Lightly Toasted Almonds
  • 1 Cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 Stick) Unsalted, Softened Butter
  • 1 Cup Apricot Jam (Or Other Fruit Jam)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
  3. Place the flour, sugar, and butter and pulse just until the mixture comes together.
  4. It will be crumbly but you should be able to pinch it into a soft ball.
  5. Be careful not to over mix which will make the crust tough rather than buttery and tender.
  6. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and press it onto the bottom in an even layer.
  7. Pour the jam on top and carefully spread it across the dough evenly, leaving a 1 inch border all around.
  8. Sprinkle the almonds on top.
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the sides are lightly browned and the jam bubbly and thick.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  11. Once cool cut into squares and serve.