Dried-Fruit Bars

  • Active Time 40m
  • Total Time 2h 45m

18 bars

Make a batch of these easy homemade dried-fruit bars to tuck into your kid’s lunchbox all week.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the crust and topping (Steps 1-2) for up to 1 day. Cover or individually wrap and refrigerate the cooled bars for up to 5 days.

ingredients

  • For Crust:
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts) or old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • For Fruit Filling:
  • 3 1/4 cups diced mixed soft dried fruit (about 16 ounces), divided
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Tip: : Lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat and has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores.

directions

To prepare the crust: Combine 3/4 cup nuts (or oats), whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the butter; pulse until well incorporated.

Whisk the egg, oil, vanilla and almond extracts in a small bowl. With the motor running, add the mixture to the food processor. Process, then pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary, until the mixture begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds (it will look crumbly). Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts (or oats). Set aside for the topping.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

To prepare the fruit filling & assemble the bars: Combine 2 cups dried fruit, cider, sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 1/4 cups dried fruit and vanilla.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust. Spread the fruit filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.

Bake the bars for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely before cutting into bars, at least 1 1/2 hours.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 11499

nutrition information per serving

243 calories; 9g total fat; 2g total saturated fat; 19mg cholesterol; 74mg sodium; 40g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 3g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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