I have a list of letters I need to write… if I can ever find the time…

And while I find these letters of utmost importance to write, I seem to never have the time!  But perhaps documenting them on the world wide web counts as having written them?

  1. WWF (World Wrestling Federation, not the Wildlife Foundation – they’re great):  There is a wrestler (I’m not invested enough to actually know his name) who wears little black undies with red jewish stars, whose shtick is to be straightedge. And every time he loses, a forty-something year old man dressed in leather pants, no shirt, and a bedazzled leather motor cycle jacket comes and pours liquor / beer all over him.  That sends the wrong message to children!  … not that the rest of the wwf sends a great message, but that’s of secondary concern. (*Note: I don’t actually watch the WWF, so my facts might not be entirely correct).
  2. Home Depot: Why is it in the city that never sleeps, the home depot is only open until 8pm on Sundays?  And why was the air conditioning not working?  You’re home depot.  You should be able to fix that.
  3. Murray’s Bagels:  Murray’s takes bagels to a new level…

    a perfectly canoodled bagel.

    of crotchetiness.  They won’t toast your bagel, they won’t hollow it out, and they don’t make mini bagels.  But my favorite thing about bagels (as you recall, I don’t typically like bagels) is the taste of a plain bagel after it has canoodled with the other spiced bagels. So I plan to write Murray’s a letter, not to request that they toast my bagel, or use less cream cheese, but to request that they make canoodled bagels.  Do you think Murray’s will canoodle my bagel for me if I ask?

Rosemary Apricot Squares

(Adapted from Baked Explorations)

Ingredients:

For the rosemary dough:

12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/2 cup (70g) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest of half a lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 3/4 cups (250g) flour

For the apricot filling:

2 cups (8 ounces, 230g) California dried apricots
1 1/2 cups (375ml) water
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (60g) honey
2 tablespoons brandy
pinch of salt

For the crumb topping:

1/2 cup (70g) flour
1/2 cup (95g) packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (40g) pecans or almonds, coarsely chopped
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, cubed, chilled

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9-inch grease square pan then line it with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides of the pan.
  2. Make the rosemary dough by creaming the butter with the powdered sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, until it’s light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and rosemary, then gradually add in the 1 3/4 cup (250g) flour, mixing until the dough is smooth.
  3. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and pat it flat into the bottom of the pan using lightly floured hands. Refrigerate the dough-lined pan for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Make the apricot filling by combining the apricots, water, granulated sugar, honey, brandy, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until all the liquid has just about been absorbed. Let cool for a few minutes, stirring, then puree in a food processor until smooth.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  6. Baked the rosemary shortbread for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Once baked, let the shortbread cool to room temperature.
  7. Make the crumb topping by mixing together the 1/2 cup (70g) flour, brown sugar, nuts, salt, and butter in the bowl of the stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, until the mixture just barely starts clumping together.
  8. Spread the apricot filling over the shortbread in the pan evenly, then top with the crumb topping and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is browned.
  9. Remove from oven and let bars cool completely in pan.
  10. To slice, lift the bars out of the pan by grasping the edges of the foil. Slice into squares.
  11. Eat and Enjoy!
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