So here’s the deal. I made these on a night when I made several other cookies and these got overshadowed by two really sweet and decadent cookies. But it wasn’t the apricot oat bars’ fault. They are much healthier than the other two cookies. And I really appreciated these guys the next morning for breakfast. So in conclusion, these are delicious, but more of a healthy brunch item than a decadent dessert.
And I firmly believe that when you want to go for it in the dessert department, you should! I do the two extremes, fruit salad or a massive fatty brownie covered in frosting.
Recipe adapted from here.
2 cups dried apricots
3/4 cup water
3 cups rolled oats (make sure not to get the quick/instant ones)
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 stick butter
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup brown sugar plus 2 tablespoons
1/3 cup apricot jam
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your 8 x 8 baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Note: I was already using my square baking dish for something else, so I baked these in two bread pans.
2. Boil the 3/4 cup of water. Pour it over your dried apricots in a heatproof bowl. Let this sit for 25 minutes – the apricots will absorb the water and plump up.
3. While the apricots are sitting, make your crust. Mix the oats and flours in a large bowl and mix well. Place the stick of butter, 1/2 cup honey, and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes and then pour this over the oat and flour mixture. Stir to coat all of the oats and then let cool.
4. Once the oats have cooled, place half of the mixture (1 1/2 cups) into the bottom of the pan. Press down evenly and then set aside.
5. Once the apricots are done, drain the excess water and place them in a food processor. Add the 3 tablespoons of honey, the jam, and vanilla and process. It will take about a minute or so to get this mixture smooth.
6. Pour this apricot mixture over the crust and then crumble the remaining crust on top.
7. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is browned. Let the bars cool completely before cutting them.
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