Perfect holiday sweets for an old-fashioned swap with friends.
Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 45 min
Yields: 54 squares
- 2 cup(s) (12 ounces) dried apricots
- 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cup(s) water
- 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1/2 cup(s) butter or margarine, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup(s) vegetable shortening
- 1 can(s) (7 to 8 ounces) almond paste, crumbled
- 3/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup(s) butter or margarine, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
- 2 tablespoon(s) confectioners' sugar
- Prepare apricot filling: In 2-quart saucepan, heat apricots, sugar, and 2 1/2 cups water to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes or until apricots are very tender.
- Remove saucepan from heat. With potato masher or fork, mash apricots with liquid in saucepan until mixture becomes a thick paste. Cool filling completely.
- Prepare sweet pastry: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissors-fashion, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, into flour mixture, mixing lightly with fork after each addition, until dough is just moist enough to hold together. Press dough evenly into bottom of ungreased 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" jelly-roll pan.
- Bake pastry 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack.
- Prepare almond topping: In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse almond paste, sugar, and butter until mixture is crumbly. Add eggs and pulse until smooth, scraping bowl with rubber spatula if necessary. Add flour, vanilla, and salt, and pulse just until combined.
- Spread filling evenly over baked pastry. Pour topping evenly over filling. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until top is golden. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
- Sprinkle top of apricot squares with confectioners' sugar. Cut lengthwise into 6 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 9 squares.