We all love bar cookies. But if you’re looking for a healthier cookie for yourself or your kids, most bar cookies are not the way to go. They’re usually loaded with sugar and fat. And the lack of nutritious ingredients might just rival the national debt.
These Apricot Walnut Bars are a bit healthier than most cookie bars (note: I’m not saying they’re healthy, just healthier) but still taste really good. The ingredient list includes whole wheat flour, dried apricots instead of apricot jam, oatmeal and heart-healthy walnuts.
After taste-testing the finished bars (I mean, really. How could I not?), I put the rest in the freezer, and I pull out one or two when I’m jonesing for something sweet. The bars definitely satisfied.
Note: I left out the salt when I made them.
Apricot Walnut Bars
1 6 oz. bag dried apricots
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1 cup oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup plus 1 T walnuts, chopped
optional: a couple of handfuls of shredded coconut
1. Heat oven to 350. Fine a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick foil (or spray foil with cooking spray.
2. Place apricots in a food processor bowl. Pour 1/4 cup boiling water over them. Cover and let stand.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy with electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour and baking soda and beat just until blended. Stir in oats and 1/4 cup nuts.
4. Press 1 1/2 cups of the dough into pan. Process apricots and water until fairly smooth. Spread over top of dough. Crumble remaining dough over top. Sprinkle with remaining nuts.
5. Bake 30-35 minutes or until top is golden. Let cool in pan.
6. Holding foil by ends, lift from pan onto a cutting board. Carefully cut lengthwise in four strips. Then cut into 4-5 strips.
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