I made these for the family Christmas party this weekend, and while I liked them, I don't know that anyone else did. :-( There were quite a few left over at the end of the night, but to make myself feel better I'm telling myself that people were just too stuffed from dinner to truly savor the goodness that was my dessert.
I really liked the flavor combinations here. The ground cloves and apricot really shine when matched together. It just smells like the holidays!
Apricot Linzer Bars
(Courtesy Better Homes and Gardens)
1 c. hazelnuts
1 1/4 all-purpose flour
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
1/2 c. apricot preserves
Powdered sugar for dusting
Grease and lightly flour an 11 x 7 x 1 1/2 inch baking pan; set aside.
Place hazelnuts un a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and process until nuts are ground. Stir ground hazelnuts into flour and set aside.
For batter, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of the bowl occassionally.
Beat in egg and egg yolk until combined. Beat in flour-nut mixture.
Evenly spread approx. 2 cups of the batter into the prepped pan. Spoon apricot preserves over batther. Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over preserves.
Bake at 350 F. for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Sift powdered sugar over the top before cutting into bars.
- My bars didn't puff up as much as the picture in my cookbook. I think part of the problem might be that I used my flat beated on my KA mixer instead of the wire whisk beater. The picture in the book looks a lot lighter and fluffier, and I think that by using the flat beater, I didn't incorporate enough air into my mixture.
- It's really, really worth the extra effort to grind your hazelnuts and mix them in with the flour. You get a big burst of flavor in your mouth and the combination of cloves, hazelnuts, and apricot is really wonderful.