Monday, January 10, 2011

Easy Apricot Oat Bars

The bars mid party! They are SO delicious!
Every year my Husband and I host a formal Christmas Party- and we always have way too much food.(Which I suppose is a good thing really!) This year I was trying a lot of new recipe's, and tried to add a few healthy choices to the mix of things. I am addicted to The Food Network, and one of my favorite Chef's is Giada DeLaurentiis. I love to watch her show. One afternoon I saw her make these *fabulous* apricot oat bars. I thought I'd give them a whirl for the party this year. Turns out- they were amazing- and again- EASY! Which when your making around 10 dishes for an evening, is something that really helps out, of if your a busy Mom like my co-blogger Jen is! They are perfect for a quick healthy snack, school lunch, bake sale, or picnic!
Let's get into the thick of it.


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Filling
  • 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)
  • Crust
  • 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
  • 1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

They look so good at every stage of baking! This is pre-topping.
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13 by 2-inch metal baking dish 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.
I am going to give this a try with other dried fruit and jams, raspberry is definitely on my list!

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