Monday, February 24, 2014

Coconut and apricot bars to shake off the sadness

Coconut and apricot bars / Barrinhas de damasco e coco

My sister and I take turns choosing the movies we watch together at the theater, and last Saturday it was her turn to pick it: I wanted Robocop, but she went with The Book Thief.

I haven’t read the book, therefore can’t verify if the movie is faithful to it, but in general I liked the story and I’ll watch anything with Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush, actually. However, the movie made me feel really sad at the end – movies about the Nazism are never easy to watch, but I’d seen more graphic ones on the subject, and up to now I haven't been able to figure out why Liesel’s story had stuck in my head like that.

I went home thinking about it and tried to shake it off by spending some time on the treadmill, with no success. Then I decided to bake something, something sweet, and all that sugar and coconut and apricots took my mind off the sadness for a while – by the time I removed the cake pan from the oven I was feeling a little lighter already, and then I had something tasty to munch on while I watched another episode of House of Cards – the Underwoods make me so nervous I could have chewed all my nails off.

Coconut and apricot bars
slightly adapted from a Bill Granger recipe published by The Independent

120g unsalted butter, melted
120g granulated sugar
50g sweetened flaked coconut
150g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
180g ready to eat dried apricots, chopped

150g sweetened flaked coconut
50g granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20cm (8in) square cake pan, line it with foil leaving an overhang on two opposite sides and butter the foil as well.
Crust: in a large bowl, mix the melted butter, sugar, coconut, flour, baking powder, salt and egg. Spoon into the pan and spread the mixture out into an even layer. Dot the chopped apricots over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.
Make the topping: in a medium bowl, mix the coconut, sugar, egg, salt and vanilla until combined. Remove the pan from the oven, spread over the jam and use 2 spoons to spread out the coconut mixture in a rough, even layer.
Return to the oven and cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until top is golden. Cool completely in the pan, then cut into bars to serve.

Makes 16


Sue/the view from great island said...

I adore apricots, and this combination with coconut sounds wonderful!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I love your combination of apricots and coconut!

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