Apricot Almond Bars

I’ve been making these fabulous little “goodies” so long, I have no idea where I ever even got the recipe! Originally, I made them for a tea party and everyone was just crazy, so I began making them as part of my Christmas treat trays. Now we have folks expecting them each year; a sure sign of a super-duper “keeper” recipe, wouldn’t you say??  

1 pkg. yellow cake mix, approx. 15 oz.
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup sliced toasted almonds
12 oz. jar apricot preserves, warmed

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. almond extract
1 egg

1 cup reserved base mixture
½ cup flaked coconut, toasted
¼ cup sliced toasted almonds

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (325 degrees F. if using a glass baking dish). Generously spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • To prepare base, combine cake mix and butter in a large mixing bowl, using a hand-mixer at low speed; mix just until crumbly.  Stir in almonds; reserve 1 cup of this mixture.  Press remaining base mixture over bottom of prepared baking dish.
  • Carefully spread warmed preserves over base, leaving an edge of about 1/4-inch all the way around.
  • In the same mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese with the sugar, flour and salt; beat in egg and vanilla until mixture is smooth.  Spread cream cheese mixture over preserves layer.
  • To prepare the topping, combine the reserved cup of the base mixture with flaked coconut and ¼ cup sliced almonds; sprinkle over the top of the cream cheese layer.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and center is set.  Cool at least 1 hour before cutting into bars or fingers.  Store in refrigerator, but best served at room temperature.

Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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