Paleo Apricot Bars

By: Cassy Joy

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These Paleo Apricot Bars feature a perfectly sweet apricot filling surrounded by a buttery almond flour and coconut crust.

Things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes I come home with mountains of fresh fruits and vegetables {feeding just two people here} convinced that it all will be eaten before the weekend. After a week of staying at work too late, “I don’t feel like cooking” nights, and that Thai soup I couldn’t live without, I’m left with limp unused produce.

How to turn unappealing almost-past-their-prime produce into really delicious eats? Add heat and either fat or sugar. Or both.

My fix for limp veggies is simple. I either toss in some bacon fat and roast for an immediate snack or I chop and freeze. I handle fruits a little differently. While berries freeze well, I prefer to use my other fruits at once. After I excitedly brought home a big bag of perky apricots, I watched them sit in my fruit bowl, getting slouchy and sad as the days ticked by. An emergency apricot dessert was in order.

As if they could read my mind, the incredible White on Rice Couple {Todd & Diane} recently published a recipe for Fresh Apricot Bars. If you’re not familiar with the White on Rice Couple, allow me to introduce you. They have a gorgeous food & life blog. I’ve admired their work for a long time and fantasize about attending one of their food photography workshops …one day.

I paleo-ized T&D’s Fresh Apricot Bar by using almond meal instead of flour, unsweetened coconut instead of oats, and coconut sugar instead of refined/brown. I also subbed an apple brandy {Calvados} for the Grand Marnier and opted for grass-fed butter.

paleo apricot bars

These Paleo Apricot Bars are incredibly easy and delicious. My sad little apricots are going down in history as one of the tastiest apricot treats to ever pass from my kitchen to the office breakroom.

paleo apricot bars

Enjoy! For starters, wash and halve your apricots, then remove the pits and chop them up into 1 inch chunks. Also, if your oven seems to be powered by a mouse making fire with a toothpick and a magnifying glass {like mine}, then get a jump start and set your oven 350 F now. If your oven is from the last three decades, you can probably wait a few minutes.

apricots

Measure out about 1.5 cups of fresh apricot chunks then add to a medium/small saucepan over medium heat along with 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar and stir them together. I love this stuff! I found mine near the bulk/health food section in the grocery store. I’ve even gotten Austin to forgo his morning coffee cancer packet {the dreaded pink one} for this tasty stuff. I still think black coffee is best, but he’s working into this whole paleo world with baby steps.

apricots in a pan

Next, grab a bottle of your favorite brandy, orange liquor {Grand Marnier}, or whiskey. Calvados is an apple brandy whose most memorable flavor contribution was with my Thanksgiving Stuffing {specifically Pancetta Apricot Stuffing with a Brandy Pecan Glaze} that the NBC Today Show highlighted a while back. After the apricot chunks look like they’ve started to melt into each other, add 2 tsp of the brandy, then remove them from heat.

apricot reduction

To finish the filling, blend the apricot mixture until smooth then refrigerate it while you work on the crust. I really like to use my NutriBullet for small batches of blended goodies!

Next, it's onto the crust! Combine 1 1/2 cups of almond meal, coconut sugar, baking soda, and kosher salt in a large bowl and then whisk it all together. After that, add 1/2 cup of butter to the dry ingredients then work it in with your hands, until a crumbly mixture forms, then work some shredded coconut.

apricot bar crumble

Now it's time to put it all together! Set aside a 5×10 metal loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. Okay, I guess the parchment paper is optional …but it makes cleanup and chopping so much easier. If you don’t use parchment paper, butta the pan.

Add about 2/3 of your buttered and shredded coconut-ed almond meal mixture to the bottom of the pan and pat it down until it forms an even layer.

apricot bar crumble

 

Now grab your apricot jam out of the fridge and give it a stir, then spread it out to even thickness {and then lick the spoon and every last bit of jam left in the jar}.

Crumble the remainder of the almond meal crust over the jam.

paleo apricot bars

Until it looks like this. Bake it at 350 F for 45 minutes.

paleo apricot bars

Ta-daaa!! Let it cool on the counter and then in the refrigerator.

paleo apricot bars

Once it’s cooled, pull it out of the pan. Don’t you just love parchment paper? Chop the Paleo Apricot Bars into your favorite size, plate, and enjoy.

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Paleo Apricot Bars

paleo apricot bars
  • Author: Cassy
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 bars

Ingredients

Apricot Filling::

  • 1 1/2 cups Fresh Apricots
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Brandy (optional to substitute with lemon juice)

Crust::

  • 1 1/2 cups Almond Meal {coarse almond meal works great here}
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup cold Grass-Fed Butter
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

Instructions

Apricot Filling:

  1. Cut the apricots into chunks and add them to a medium/small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the coconut sugar, stir, and cook until the apricot chunks have started to melt into each other. Add the brandy, stir, and let simmer for a few more minutes.
  2. When the apricots look smooth, take them off the heat and blend until smooth. Place in the freezer while you make the crust.

Bars:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the almond meal, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cold butter and pinch with your fingers to mix. Add the shredded coconut and pinch to combine.
  3. Line a 5×10 inch metal loaf pan with parchment paper. Add 2/3 of the crust to the pan and pat down. Pour the apricot jam over the crust then spread out until it’s even. Crumble the remainder of the crust over the jam.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.
  5. Let the bars cool and chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Enjoy!

paleo apricot bars

Comments

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  1. Ashleigh says:

    Wow, seriously?! I want these right now!!

    1. fedandfit says:

      Make you some, girl! You’re only an hour away 😉

  2. oh man these look fantastic! And the fact they’re paleo?!!! YUMMMMMMMMMM! Thanks for giving me a great idea for my sad apricots!

    1. fedandfit says:

      It’s my pleasure!

  3. Those look fantastic!! Pinned so many great recipes from your blog today!!

    1. fedandfit says:

      Thank you!! I hope you like them 🙂

  4. Chloe Chase says:

    Looks great. I love the detailed photo instructions. Thanks.

    1. fedandfit says:

      Thank you! I try to operate under the “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” mode …meaning, my posts now have detailed photo instructions because that’s exactly what I need before I try something new 🙂 Hope you like the bars!

  5. Jay says:

    Could you use dried apricots??

    1. Cassy says:

      Sure! I’d just rehydrate them a bit so it still comes together well.

  6. Bonnie Hawkins says:

    Second time making these in less than 2 weeks. They are OUT-standing! It’s just my husband and I and so far there has only been one issue with making these…we have to share:) Thank you so much for a great recipe.

    1. Cassy says:

      Oh that’s so wonderful, Bonnie! Really glad you both enjoy them 🙂