Sunday, June 9, 2013

Apricot-Oatmeal Bars with Pistachios and Chocolate Chips

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I love a parade and because I am relentless, my friends have learned to love them, too. Today, I shanghaied them for a trip to Portland to see the Rose Parade. Our crew gets larger every year and when we get together, we look like we're on a field trip, enjoying a day away from the home. I suspect we were quite a sight. In addition to chairs, we were also lugging picnic hampers for lunch in the park to round out the day. Food for the picnic was a communal affair and I was the designated dessert lady. I made several types of bar cookies because they travel well and could hold up to the jostling that would get them from here to there. I'll eventually be sharing all the recipes with you, but tonight I'd like to focus on the one that made the cookie that I liked least. Let me hasten to add, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these cookies, save for the fact they are too sweet for my taste. The sweet lovers in the group enjoyed the bars and they were gone by the end of the afternoon. The cookies, while expensive to make, are simple to prepare and all the information you need to successfully make them is in the recipe below. If you have a sweet tooth, I suspect you'll love these bars. Here is how they are made.

Apricot-Oatmeal Bars with Pistachios and Chocolate Chips...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Fine Cooking magazine

9-ounces (2 cups) all purpose flour
1-1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 ounces (1 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 ounces (about 1 cup) chopped, shelled natural pistachios
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/2 cup white chocolate or semisweet chocolate morsels
1 (15-1/4-oz.) jar apricot preserves

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Using an electric mixer, combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; mix on low speed until well combined. Add butter and mix on medium until butter is mostly blended and mixture appears moist and begins to pull together, about 3 minutes. Stir in pistachios. Transfer 1-1/2 cups of crumb mixture to another bowl, then stir dried apricots and chocolate morsels into it, and refrigerate.
2) Firmly press remaining mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake in middle of oven for 25 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes (leave the oven on). Spread apricot preserves evenly on top, leaving a 1/8-inch border around the edge of the crust.
3) Crumble reserved crumb mixture over apricot preserves. Return to oven and bake until lightly browned and fruit filling is bubbling all over, including the center of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into 18 bars (or into smaller pieces, if you like).

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Foodycat said...

These sound like just my cup of tea!

Joanne said...

How fun for you all to go together! These bars sounds the perfect sweet treat to bring along!

mike ridlehuber said...

how fun, a trip for a parade! I have to take snacks for youth camp leaders... I may try these. Need travel well type snacks. Thanks

Anonymous said...

sounds like a wonderful time, these do sound sweet, like a candy bar, yummo!

cara said...

how fun, a trip to a parade! I need travel well treats for youth camp leaders, I may try these! thanks!

David said...

Mary... Apricots, oatmeal, pistachios, chocolate chips... These snack bars/dessert bars sure have a lot going on! They have to be a riot of flavors and textures in one's mouth... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Ginny said...

This is something very different and would be so good on a trip!

Alessandra said...

These would be good for my husband, good for running :-)!! And I lie the pairing of apricots and pistachio.

Would be nice to see a parade, not something so popular in NZ.


bellini said...

Great dessert Mary. Portable too.

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef said...

I just made a gluten-free version of these. They were delish!

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