Late night Redbox runs can be precarious, especially if the closest Redbox kiosk happens to be located in Walmart.
I was simply trying to get a movie…all I wanted was a movie. After a long day of running errands and coffee shop meetings, all I wanted was to put fluffy pajama pants on my tired legs and be mindlessly entertained. This was both idealistic and unrealistic. Come on, this is Walmart; Walmart at night. Weird people get weirder when the sun turns in. Unfortunately, I met one of these interesting individuals.
I was innocently mumbling to myself about the amount of movie options I was having to scroll through to find my chosen DVD when my friendly neighborhood creeper decided to make his appearance.
Creepy Walmart Dude: “Are you a ballerina?”
Tired Me: Let me first state that I was not wearing a pink tulle skirt or anything remotely resembling Swan Lake apparel. I glanced behind me hoping that his obscure question hadn’t been directed at me. Of course it had, so I calmly answered “No” and turned back to my business.
Creepy Walmart Dude: “You’re built like a ballerina!”
Tired Me: He had obviously checked out my backside, but I decided to be nice and stay classy as I ignored him.
Creepy Walmart Dude: “You’re even standing like a ballerina!”
Tired Me: Yes, my feet were crossed but that is because I had just come from a long meeting where I drank my weight in chai and was trying desperately to avoid usage of the public restroom. I figured telling my new friend this factoid would not help my situation so I informed him that I always stood like that.
Creepy Walmart Dude: “You have your hair fixed like a ballerina…”
Tired Me: First of all, it was not a ballerina bun but in fact, a sock bun. Apparently my creeper had never been on Pinterest…geez. I informed him that this was a quick way to fix my hair and I ran out the door.
Creepy Walmart Dude: “I bet you would be good at ballet!” he yelled as I scurried out the door.
When I had reached my car I was flustered and irritated and wanting to unwind even more than before. I got home and fell on the couch ready to put in my movie and eat a pan of these glorious bars.
These bars are soft and chewy and the perfect companion to strong coffee. They also happen to be super quick to make which compels me to be even more of a fan. I needed these, I’m sure you need them too. Let’s get started.
We begin with; 1 cup of melted butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and 2 large eggs. In the bowl of your handy dandy stand mixer beat eggs and slowly add in sugar. Beat sugar and egg mixture on medium speed until their color is light yellow and you have hit the ribbon stage. Reduce speed to low and add butter and 2 1/2 teaspoons of almond extract. Let me just say right now that almond extract is one of my favorite smells and I am considering wearing it as my new perfume. Back to the bars. In a separate bowl combine 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Slowly beat in flour mixture adding in 1/4 cup increments.
When all the flour has been incorporated fold in 1 1/2 cups dried, diced apricots and 1 1/2 cups of chopped almonds.
Spread the batter out into a 9x13 pan and sprinkle the top with your remaining 1/4 cup of almonds. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Moral of the story, don’t go to Walmart at night, stay home and eat chewy bars.
Chewy Almond Apricot Bars
makes about 16 bars
-1 cup unsalted butter (melted)
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-2 large eggs
-2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
-2 1/2 cups flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 1/2 cups dried apricots (roughly chopped)
-1 3/4 cups raw almonds (roughly chopped)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In the work bowl of your stand mixer beat eggs on medium high speed for 30 seconds. Begin to add sugar in 1/4 cup increments, when all the sugar is incorporated beat for 1-2 minutes or until the color has become a light yellow. Add melted butter and almond extract. Sift to combine baking soda, flour and kosher salt. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add flour in increments. When all the flour has been beaten in fold in apricots and 1 1/2 cups almonds. Spread the batter in a 9x13 baking pan, sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup almonds over the top. Bake bars for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!