Saturday, November 9, 2013

Apricot Oat Bars

This morning I woke up and was so excited for what I was planning to make. It's one of my favorite recipes and I was looking forward to sharing it. So I get in the kitchen, put everything together and put it in the oven to bake. I took it out of the oven and was so excited to try it (it's always better when it's warm)! I take the first bite...and let's just say it didn't turn out like it was supposed to. So I gave up on that recipe and turned to Plan B, which is another one of my favorites!

Apricot Oat Bars is a fairly new recipe to me. The first time I tried them my family went crazy! They're so good! And they're pretty healthy for a dessert (yes, we eat them as dessert, that's how good these things are). They're the perfect treat to take to bake sales, dinners, or parties...or to just keep to yourself ;) 

Whenever I make these I usually don't tell people what's in them at first, because once I say apricot they usually pass. So I make them try it, they fall in love, and they're shocked when I tell them it's apricot. Believe me, you'll love these! I hope you try them!



Cooking Spray

For the filling:
1 (13-ounce) jar apricot preserves
8 dried apricots, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (I use more because I love apricots)

For the crust:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free flour)
1 cup packed 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 (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13x2-inch metal baking dish with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the apricots and the apricot preserves 
(I like to stir this a little bit just to loosen the preserves. This makes it easier to spread)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the oats.

Add the butter, egg, and vanilla and stir until incorporated.

Using a fork or your fingers, lightly press half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the pan. 

Using a spatula, spread the filling over the crust, getting close to the edge off the crust but not all the way. 

Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture over the filling. Bake until lightly golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. 

Cut into bars and store in an airtight container.
(I like to put mine in the refrigerator and eat them cold)

P.S. I made these gluten-free by just replacing the flour. If you don't need to eat gluten-free just use regular flour.

This is the gluten-free flour that I use.

Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis

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