Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Apricot Oat Bars

So very moist and delicious.  These can be served for dessert or as a breakfast bar.  This would also be good made with different preserves such as cherry preserves with dried cherries and pecans.  Blueberry jam or cranberry sauce would be good, too.

Vegetable oil cooking spray

1 (13-ounce) jar apricot jam or preserves (about 1 1/4 cups) 
8 dried apricots, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/3 cup)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 packed cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted (* I would use a little less butter next time)
1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 metal baking pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with vegetable oil cooking spray and set aside.

Filling: In a small bowl, mix together the jam and the apricots. Set aside.

Crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in the oats and walnuts. Add the butter, egg and vanilla and stir until incorporated.

Using a fork or clean fingers, lightly press half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the crust leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the pan. Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture and gently press to flatten. Bake until light golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Makes 24 bars

Source:  Giada De Laurentiis - Food Network


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