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Apricot Shortbread Bars

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Apricot Shortbread Bars are a delicious apricot jam-filled bar recipe with a buttery shortbread crust and topping.

several apricot shortbread bars on a platter

January 9th is National Apricot Day! Celebrate with apricots! Bake these delicious Apricot Shortbread Bars. They’re a wonderful twist on classic shortbread. Spread apricot jam on toast or muffins. Or eat an apricot!

Share the apricot love on social media today using the hashtags #NationalApricotDay, #ApricotDay and #RecipesForHolidays.

Be sure to follow my January Food Holidays page so you never miss a food holiday in the month of January!

“Five tender apricots in a blue bowl, a brief and exact promise of things to come.”

-Frances Mayes

The History of Apricots:

Apricots originated in China 4,000 years ago. They were later introduced to Europe and Armenia.

They are hugely popular in Middle Eastern countries with Turkey and Iran being the world’s largest producers.

In the 1700’s French explorers brought apricot seeds to North America. By 1792, apricot trees were widely popular across North America.

Today, apricot sales amount to about 25 million per year. 75% of apricots grown in the U.S. come from California.

ingredients displayed for making apricot shortbread bars

Ingredients needed:

  • butter
  • light brown sugar
  • white sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • salt
  • all purpose flour
  • apricot jam
  • powdered sugar
four photos showing how to make apricot shortbread bars

How to make Apricot Shortbread Bars:

The complete, printable recipe is at the end of this post.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch dish with nonstick spray.

PREPARE THE SHORTBREAD: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars; beat until creamy. Add the vanilla and salt, and beat until well combined. Beat the flour into the butter mixture on low speed, just until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so. Press the other half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan to form the bottom crust. Bake the crust until it is just beginning to turn light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

ADD FILLING AND TOPPING: Place the jam into a bowl and stir very well until it is nice and smooth. Spread the jam evenly over the partially baked crust. Crumble the refrigerated shortbread dough over the jam to form a crumbled topping. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until the topping is firm and crisp and golden in color, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

spatula holding apricot shortbread bar

Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Then cut into bars.

apricot shortbread bars in pan with one taken out

These are the most amazing apricot shortbread bars with a buttery shortbread crust on the bottom and the top.

several apricot shortbread bars on a platter

They’re made with apricot jam instead of fresh apricots. This is one dessert you’re going to want to make again and again. Enjoy!

three apricot shortbread bars stacked

Fun Facts about Apricots:

  • Apricots are an early summer fruit.
  • They are the 29th most popular fruit.
  • One apricot tree can produce fruit for 25 years.
  • The apricot represents “optimism and hope for the future.” It’s also a symbol of confidence, joyfulness, courage and abundance.
  • Apricots taste good and are packed with nutrients that are helpful to the health of your eyes, heart and digestive system.
  • Apricots can be eaten dried or canned, but it’s best to eat them fresh for maximum health benefits.
  • Astronauts ate apricots on the Apollo moon mission.
several apricot shortbread bars on a platter

Apricot Shortbread Bars

Yield: 30 Bars
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

These Apricot Shortbread Bars are addicting!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups apricot jam
  • powdered sugar

Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray.

PREPARE THE SHORTBREAD: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars; beat until creamy. Add the vanilla and salt, and beat until well combined. Beat the flour into the butter mixture on low speed, just until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so. Press the other half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan to form the bottom crust. Bake the crust until it is just beginning to turn light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

ADD FILLING AND TOPPING: Place the jam into a bowl and stir very well until it is nice and smooth. Spread the jam evenly over the partially baked crust. Crumble the refrigerated shortbread dough over the jam to form a crumbled topping. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until the topping is firm and crisp and golden in color, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before cutting into bars.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information is estimated using a nutrition calculator. It's not likely to be 100% accurate.

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