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Dried-Fruit Bars

Source: © EatingWell Magazine
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Active Time:  40 Minutes
Total Time:  2 Hours 45 Minutes
  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.
RECIPE 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.
Dried-Fruit Bars Recipe at Cooking.com
DIRECTIONS
To prepare 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 butter; pulse until well incorporated.


Whisk egg, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract 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 oven to 400°F. Generously coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.


To prepare fruit filling & assemble 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 1 teaspoon 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 oven temperature to 350° 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 © EatingWell Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 08/01/2010
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 Breakfast On-the-Go: Cereal & Power Bars
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   18 bars
Calories: 243
Fat. Total: 9g
Protein: 3g
Carbohydrates, Total: 40g
Fat, Saturated: 2g
Fiber: 3g
Cholesterol: 19mg
Sodium: 74mg
% Cal. from Fat: 33%
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