Apricot Coconut Meringue Bars


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Apricot Coconut Meringue Bars
Apricot Coconut Meringue Bars
This is my new favorite version of one of the oldest cookie bar recipes in my family. It's no secret that apricot is my favorite type of jam and a quick homemade version is what I used in this recipe which I've also made on different occasions with raspberry, strawberry and cranberry jams.

I've updated the recipe recently to partially pre-bake the base, which, depending on the water content of the jam you are using could get soggy. This step worked really well in preventing that from happening.

I like to make homemade apricot jam for this recipe from dried apricots, so I've included instructions for enough jam to make this recipe but if you like, double the recipe and save a jar for your morning toast or to serve on fresh baked biscuits at a weekend brunch. Yum!


Apricot Coconut Meringue Squares

Recipe by Barry C. Parsons
Apricot Coconut Meringue Squares - a soft cookie base, covered with sweet apricot jam and a layer of coconut meringue. Delicious with practically any favorite jam of your choice.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 25 cookie squares

Ingredients
  • FOR THE BASE
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue top)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups homemade or good quality apricot jam
  • FOR THE TOP LAYER
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup fine unsweetened dried (desicated) coconut
  • TO MAKE APRICOT JAM
  • 2 cups chopped dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. FOR THE BASE, cream together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  4. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Fold into the creamed mixture.
  5. Spread evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 25 -30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Spread the jam over the surface of the base.
  7. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks.
  8. Gradually beat in the brown sugar.
  9. Fold in the dried coconut.
  10. Spread carefully over the surface of the jam layer. Return to the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
  11. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares or bars. Store in airtight containers. Freezes well.
  12. If you are making homemade jam, cover the chopped apricots with the boiling water and add the sugar and lemon juice.
  13. Bring to a slow simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  14. Using a potato masher mash the apricots and continue to simmer into a jam consistency where the jam is quite thick and all the visible liquid has boiled off. Cool to at least warm before using in the cookie square recipe.

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