So an apricot walks into a bar. Which would be funny if it weren’t so terribly sad, seeing that alcoholism runs rampant in the apricot population. It’s an epidemic. You can do your part to help quell this senseless march towards destruction by donating your dried apricots to a nobel cause: baked goods.
I love dates. I don’t get them often but they’re always nice. Oh, and the fruit too. The fruit is good. And I like to make date bars. Delicious, sweet, chewy. However, today I had a bag of dried apricots I purchased awhile ago and I figured, why not substitute them in place of dates in the bar recipe?
So I did. These bars are extremely easy to make, and fairly quick too. They’re also sweet, chewy and utterly delicious, with a nice crunchy crust. Oh, and alcohol free.
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8×8-inch metal baking pan. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to simmer in medium saucepan. Add apricots; simmer until very soft and thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.
Combine flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in large bowl; stir to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until moist clumps form. Press half of oat mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread apricot mixture over. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture; press gently to adhere. Bake until brown at edges and golden brown and set in center, about 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars and serve…with ice cream!