Apricot Oat Bars


Whew, what a weekend. It began with a bang when I strained my back in a bad way while picking something up off the floor. Good thing I had the weekend to rest, right? Wrong. Steve was away in San Diego, so I was in full-time parent mode. Constantly lifting a 16-lb. baby, keeping a 4-year-old occupied, and serving mandatory volunteer hours at Aaron’s preschool Cinco de Mayo Fiesta were on the docket. Somehow we survived, and my back seems to be on the mend. I am grateful for the return of my husband, Aaron’s frequent offers to pray for my back to heal, and for a low-key Monday.

And now for a happy Monday treat. My son pronounces it, “threet,” and now that’s the way it sounds in my head. Here, have a threet.

These apricot oat bars are easy to put together, and are truly delicious. I added some almond extract to the crust, which gave the bars a hint of something unique. We always have oats and dried fruit in our pantry, so these are a great last-minute snack to whip up. I served these for a gathering we hosted, and then our family enjoyed the leftovers in the following days.

Apricot Oat Bars

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1 cup snipped dried apricots
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter

In a medium saucepan combine apricots and 3/4 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon flour; stir into apricot mixture. Cook and stir about 1 minute more or until thickened and bubbly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, almond extract, and baking soda. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press 1/2 half of crumb mixture into bottom of an ungreased 9×9 inch pan. Spread on apricot filling. Sprinkle with remaining half of crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden. Cool in pan on a wire rack, and cut into bars.

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