Saturday, August 28, 2010

Apricot walnut bars, and a houseguest

Did you forget about me, friends?

There's been lots of work to do this week, plus we've had a houseguest. Our little buddy Django came to stay with us, and Frances quickly schooled him in the way things go around here.

First, if you hear the clang of a pot or pan lid, vegetables being chopped, or the refrigerator door swing shut, run as fast as you can to the kitchen and assess the situation.

Once you determine the source of the sound, get underfoot and don't move until something drops.

As soon as something hits the floor, it's every dog for him/herself.

When you've scrounged whatever you can, repeat from the beginning.

It's been a joy to see them together. Makes us think of getting Frances a full-time sidekick.

Anyway, today I had the itch to do something with some dried apricots I picked up recently. Apricot bars seemed a natural fit, but I have found mixed luck with bar cookies. Remember when I made the crazy mango bars? They weren't bad but they weren't...good.

These apricot bars I whipped up, though, they were swell. I even included the walnuts, which is unusual for me. Usually I abhor nuts in baked things.

In a way, they almost seemed like less of a bar and more like a little cake sitting on shortbread. The top is cakey and delicate, and as I bit into it, I imagined eating one for breakfast the next day. But then you get down to the crumbly cookie base, and it's hard to persuade yourself that these really belong in breakfast territory.

Although, if people can eat steak and eggs for breakfast, why can't I eat a layered cake-on-cookie?

Give me one good reason.


  1. Definitely have them for breakfast! Yes, if folks insist on having spinach and mushrooms and tomatoes and corn fritters for breakfast, I reckon cake on shortbread is fair game!

    Frances and her friend look so cute together, real partners in crime :)

  2. i do love a swell fruit bar. i also think all animals should have a mate to pal around with--glad frances made a friend. :)

  3. I say if you can eat something desserty for breakfast, then you go for it. And the pics of Frances and her pal are fun. My Ruby has a couple doggie buddies she loves to play with too.

  4. I pretty much run into the kitchen hopefully if I hear pots clanging...apricot bars look great too, no wonder Frannie and Django are hanging around. As for cake-for-breakfast, d'ya remember the round spongecakes from C-town? Mmmm.

  5. Shaz: yep, we've been eating them for breakfast. As the husband says, food's food. Eat what you like when you want!

    grace: frances is awfully good at making friends, with both humans and dogs!!

    onrordinaryday: BTW you need to post more pics of little Ruby...

    MJ: Now I'm dreaming of those spongecakes...

  6. Such cute photos of team dog! They seem to work very well together. :)

    I love apricots...usually have them in a date/apricot bar that my father loved. This will be such a nice change. I am not overly fond of walnuts though, so will sub pecans.

  7. I can easily eat these apricot bars for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

    btw, I think layered cake on cookie is wonderful idea. It all looks good!

  8. On Sunday I spent a bit of time with your house guest Django. He met me at the top of your stairs with great excitement. Immediately he brought his ball to show me and within seconds he trotted out with Frannie's stuffed toy which Django now loves. Fannie is not jealous and does not care --she likes to share! Maybe she is in love with Django. He is easy to love! As she is! Don't know about the apricot bars -- look yummy! MOM

  9. Hey, if one can have coffee cake or a donut for breakfast, I see nothing wrong with an apricot cookie bar. Absolutely nothing. Plus, with the apricots, you're getting a good dose of real fruit. ;)

  10. I find myself eating things at inappropriate times lately. This morning I ate a leftover cupcake and some roasted sweet peppers alongside my espresso. I know, sounds pretty awful, but I am a believer in following your cravings! [Cute pups!]

  11. Love this post! I like getting a peek into your life, even when it's just restricted to Francis. And yes, I think you should get her a sidekick! ;-)

    Did you use fresh apricots for this recipe? I haven't seen that many this summer. I felt like the apricot season came in went just like the heat.

  12. I quite agree, layered cake on cookie seems like a plausible breakfast to me too! Looks yummy!
    *kisses* HH

  13. Cake/cookie for breakfast? No judging by me! I've been doing that quite a lot these days with all the pastries I've been baking.

  14. awww, those two little faces looking up at you with such hope... how adorable! I need one of those floor cleaner uppers, my kitties are not up for the job :(

    The bars sound wonderful, I love cake and cookies, I don't think I've had them combined before!

  15. Barbara: oh, pecans would be delicious!

    Velva: After a few days, I've come to the conclusion that these bars are appropriate at any time of day!

    Mom: Isn't he the sweetest?!

    CJ: I like the fruit argument.

    alittleyum: that actually is a pretty surprising combo but I agree, cravings should usually be followed!

    Ben: thank you! And no, I used dried apricots for these. Fresh might be better, although they are boiled to soften them, which makes a big difference.

    HH: thanks!

    Jessica: glad to know I am not alone... :)

    foodhoe: I don't suppose cats are quite as good at scrounging up the crumbs and drips in the kitchen. On the other hand they probably do not create as much mess as dogs do!

  16. Frannie and Django look so cute together. I think Frannie needs a perm friend (of the canine variety).

    Those bars look great. I feel like there's something vaguely Middle Eastern about them too. I seem to remember eating a denser version of them when I was a kid. Oh- and nice plate for the bar. It's quite pretty.

  17. Ash: Aren't they sweet? They had such a good time. You're right about the middle east touch--I have that association as well with things that contain dried fruit and nuts! Plate is from Soko hardware in J-town...

    Sophie: Thank you!

  18. My cat does pretty much the same thing, though when I show her it's just lettuce or something equally boring, she tends to leave me alone.

    And you know how I feel about cake and cookies for breakfast. :)

  19. camille: I'm sorry we didn't get to meet up while you were in SF! Next time! Or maybe we'll get to Paris one day...

  20. Love the pictures of the pups!

    Those bars look fabulous, such a beautiful crisp top. I had a serious fail with an apricot yogurt tart not too long ago which totally turned me off from apricots, sadly. So glad you posted this to change my mind!

  21. Connie: thanks, aren't they cute? And too bad about your tart--that actually sounds as though it would be delicious.

  22. You can know all about Apricot walnit bars and the house guest. Read to know more