Blue Ribbon-prize winning Apricot Bars recipe

Award-winning food writer and photographer Liza Gershman’s newest book taps into a deep well of affectionate nostalgia for small towns and county fairs. With 80 recipes representing all 50 states, “County Fair: Nostalgic Blue Ribbon Recipes from America’s Small Towns” (Images Publishing, $45), offers plenty of sweet bites — and savory ones, too.

The book includes pickles and relishes, as well as award-winning-recipes for pies, cakes and cookies, like these apricot bars, which earned Jill Moritz a blue ribbon at the Los Angeles County Fair, one of the largest county fairs in the country . Some 89 million people have attended the fair since its inception 100 years ago.

Apricot Bars


“County Fair” by Liza Gershman

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¾ cup butter (1½ sticks)

1 cup sugar

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

12-ounce jar apricot preserves


Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder; set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour and baking powder to creamed mixture, mixing well. Reserve one-third of dough and set aside.

Press two-thirds of dough onto the bottom of a greased 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Spread with apricot preserves and crumble remaining dough over this layer. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

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