*makes 40 bars*
1 1/2 cups dried apricots
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1) Prepare filling: In 1-quart saucepan, combine apricots and water; heat to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 25 minutes. With wooden spoon or potato masher, mash until smooth. Stir in granulated sugar; cool to room temperature.
2) Prepare crust: Preheat oven to 375F. Line 13" by 9" baking pan with foil, extending foil over rim. In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Stir in flour until well combined. With hand, pat dough firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and set, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature in pan on wire rack.
3) Prepare topping: In medium bowl, stir oats, brown sugar, and flour. With fingertips, mix in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread cooled filling over crust. Scatter topping over filling.
4) Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
5) When cool, lift foil, with pastry, out of pan; peel foil away from sides. Cut lengthwise into 5 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 8 pieces.