Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Apricot Oatmeal Bars

If you like oat-brown sugar-butter crumb toppings and coconut, then this dessert is irresistible!

Bonus: it’s vegan if you subsitute margarine for the butter!







Ingredients:
1 c. Flour & 1 Tbsp. Flour  
1 c. Oats
2/3 c. Brown sugar, packed
¼ tsp. Baking soda
½ c. Butter
1 c. Dried apricots, snipped with scissors
¼ c. Sugar
½ c. Shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:
1. In mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and 1 cup flour.
2. Cut in butter (make thin slices with a butter knife) then mix with a pastry cutter or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Pastry cutter in bowl: ready to mix
3. Set aside a heaping ½ cup of crumb mixture and put the rest in ungreased 9x9” casserole dish or baking pan.
4. Make apricot filling: in medium saucepan, combine apricots and ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350° F.
6. In small bowl, combine white sugar and 1 Tbsp. flour. Add that to apricot mixture. Cook and stir one more minute until thick.
7. Add coconut.
8. Spread apricot filling on crumb crust. Sprinkle the ½ cup reserved crumbs on top.
9. Bake about 30 minutes till top is golden.
10. After it cools, cut into bars.

Apricot Oatmeal Bars are listed as one of the variations of "Fruit-filled Oatmeal Bars" in the 11th edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook that I owned as a newlywed. The 14th edition that I bought last year contains "Fruit-filled Oatmeal Bars", but not the Apricot filling!
*Nutrition facts:

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium (% RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
1 c. + 1 Tbsp. flour
468
0
2
12.75
0
1 c. oats
300
0
8
10
0
2/3 c. brown sugar
480
0
0
0
0
¼ tsp. baking soda
0
12
0
0
0
½ c. butter
800
32
0
0
0
6 oz. (1 c.) dried apricots
840
3
14
7
14
¼ c. sugar
180
0
0
0
0
½ c. coconut
280
3
8
4
0
Total:
3348 kcal
50%
32g
33.75g
14%
Cut in 20 pieces,
1 piece:
167 kcal
2.5%
1.5g
1.5g
0.5%

  
Black-bean variation:
Add a15.5 oz. can black beans (about 1 ¾ cups) to the apricot filling right before you spread it on the crust.

Black beans?? Wha--??

One day last winter, my husband and I played “Chopped” with the kids (based on a reality cooking show). We all went to the grocery store and let each child choose a random “dessert” ingredient, two of which turned out to be black beans and dried apricots. At home, boys competed against girls. I was inspired by yummy Thai Sticky Rice and Black Beans in Coconut Milk, and tried adding black beans to these apricot bars, which already have a coconutty flavor. The result was so good (if you like starch/beans) that I repeat it often and have had requests for the recipe.

Anyway, here’s the nutrition info:
*Nutrition facts:

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium (% RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
1 c. + 1 Tbsp. flour
468
0
2
12.75
0
1 c. oats
300
0
8
10
0
2/3 c. brown sugar
480
0
0
0
0
¼ tsp. baking soda
0
12
0
0
0
½ c. butter
800
32
0
0
0
6 oz. (1 c.) dried apricots
840
3
14
7
14
¼ c. sugar
180
0
0
0
0
½ c. coconut
280
3
8
4
0
15.5 oz. can black beans
385
52.5
24.5
24.5
21
Total:
3733 kcal
102.5%
56.5g
58.25g
35%
Cut in 20 pieces,
1 piece:
187 kcal
5%
2.75g
3g
1.75%

  
*Calculated from food packaging.
I used “Great Value” brand (Walmart) old-fashioned oats, salted butter, dried apricots, and coconut flakes.
I used “Bakers & Chefs” brand (Sams Club) all-purpose bleached flour, “Arm & Hammer” brand baking soda, and “Domino” brand sugar (white & brown).

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