For those of you who know me, you may know we recently got rid of our cable. Oh boy. I will be honest. It’s been a lot harder for me, as most things usually are I’m coming to realize! I no longer have the luxury of watching my favorite cooking shows at night while folding baskets and baskets of laundry. Somehow, chores while watching tv was never too cumbersome. So needless to say, I haven’t found as many new recipes as I usually have in the past.
So, what is my coping strategy? Place all my favorite cookbook authors on my queue at the library. I think I checked out about 10 cookbooks in the last month. A little harder to peruse cookbooks while folding laundry but I did find a couple of recipes that I wanted to try. Here is another great recipe from the beautiful Giada. I have yet to find a recipe that I don’t love from her. Her newest cookbook is really great in case you’re interested.
I made two batches of these apricot oat bars. They were preschool teacher gifts for the last day of school and they also were a dessert that was delivered to a friend who recently had a baby. I loved the chewiness and apricot is one of my favorite flavors. I’m sure you could switch out the jam, fruit and nuts for something more to your liking. An easy dessert for sure that will keep at room temperature for a couple of days…if they aren’t consumed sooner.:)
Apricot Oat Bars
Recipe Courtesy Of: Giada de Laurentiis
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 1 (13-ounce) jar apricot jam or preserves (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 8 dried apricots, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packed cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13 by 2-inch metal baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with vegetable oil cooking spray and set aside.
Filling: In a small bowl, mix together the jam and the apricots. Set aside.
Crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in the oats and walnuts. Add the butter, egg and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
Using a fork or clean fingers, lightly press half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the crust leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the pan. Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture and gently press to flatten. Bake until light golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.