I needed to bake something for a friend for a post-funeral gathering, and since I had just bought a huge bag of dried apricots, I decided to put them to use. I basically made a standard Congo Bar batter, but instead of using chocolate chips and walnuts or pecans, I incorporated the apricots and some almond slices. The apricot flavor shone through beautifully, and I couldn't stop myself from sneaking bites of the scrap edge pieces! Although the almonds provided a nice textural contrast, the flavor didn't come through as much as I would have hoped, so next time, I'll either toast the almonds first, or replace some of the vanilla with a little almond extract.
2/3 c butter
2 1/2 c light brown sugar
2 t vanilla
2 3/4 c flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c diced dried apricots
1 c slightly crushed almond slices
Melt the butter, stir in the brown sugar and let cool for about 10". The apricots were fresh, so they were nice and plump and juicy. If yours are on the dry side, you might want to steep them in a little hot water, or maybe stir them into the melted butter along with the brown sugar to warm up and soak in some of the moisture.
Once that has cooled to the point where it won't scramble your eggs, stir in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until nicely incorporated. The mixture will be very loose at this point.
Whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt, then stir them into the batter, a little at a time. Finish it off by stirring in the apricots and almonds. [Resist the urge to dip in for a big spoonful.]
Spray a 9x12 pan with PAM Baking (or grease/flour), and spoon in the mixture. It will be very thick and sticky at this point. I tore off a small piece of waxed paper, lightly sprayed it with PAM and used that to press the batter into the pan.
Bake at 350 for 35-40" until toothpick tests done. Cool completely on rack before cutting into squares.