Do you ever have too much of something in your pantry and are not quite sure what to do with it?
Well, that’s my story today. For some reason I have an abundant supply of dates and dried apricots in which I need to make a dent. I’ve made very few things with either as an ingredient so it was Google to the rescue.
I was surprised to find quite a few options, and the one that caught my eye was for Fruitcake Bars from David Leibovitz. Now I’m not a real big fan of fruitcake, but the fact that his recipe didn’t call for candied fruits made me think it was OK.
The bars are chock full of fruits and nuts, and thanks to a small amount of sugar they are not too sweet. I can’t wait to have one with morning coffee.
In case you are tempted by these, I’ll save you the trouble of finding the recipe and share it. Now that I’m looking at it, it occurs to me that you could use a variety of dried fruits so don’t be afraid to do your own thing! That’s what makes cooking fun.
6 tablespoons flour (I used gluten free)
1/8 teaspoon each of baking soda and baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons packed, light or dark brown sugar
2 cups walnuts, almonds, or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups dates pitted and quartered and 1 cup dried apricot halves snipped in half
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line an 8-inch square pan across the bottom and up the sides with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 325ºF and position the rack in the center of the oven. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the brown sugar, walnuts, dates, and apricots. Use your fingers to mix the fruit, separate any pieces sticking together. Beat the egg and vanilla in a small bowl, then mix it with the fruit and nut mixture until everything’s coated with the batter. Spread the mixture in the baking pan and press gently to even it out. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top of the bars are golden brown and have pulled away just-slightly from the sides of the pan. Cool the bars in the pan, then lift out. To cut the cooled bars, use a heavy sharp knife, such as a bread knife, for ensuring neat, clean slices.