Mom’s Apricot Bar Cookies



  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110F)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup grappa, or brandy
  • 5 tbs butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110-115F)
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 -5 cups plus 1 tbs unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 grated zest medium orange
  • 1 grated zest on medium lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped, candied citron


  1. In a small bowl, combine the raisins and grappa or brandy, and let marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight
  2. In a large bowl, stir the butter, eggs, yolks, vanilla, sugar, and orange zest together
  3. Dissolve the 1 teaspoon active dry yeast in the ¼ cup warm water in a small bowl and allow to stand until bubbly.
  4. In a stand mixer combine all the sponge and the 1 teaspoon active dry yeast mixture. Add the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract and combine well. Add the raisins with their liquid and the citron and combine
  5. Add the flour about 2 cups at a time, mixing enough flour until a ball of dough forms. Stir in the salt with the third addition of flour.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed.
  7. Butter a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for 6 hours in a warm place.
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