Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fantastic Fruit and Nut Bars



I don't know about everyone else but I have bookmarked over 50 recipes that I want to try since the beginning of the year.  There are so many talented cooks and bakers out there that make everything they make look so good.  One recipe that caught my eye was by Kate at Diethood.com for Fruit and Nut Bars.  As soon as I saw them I knew exactly what I was going to make for my husbands triathlon training group this weekend.  His group really pushes their bike rides on Saturdays and they need to refuel when they get back, so the least I can do is to have something tasty waiting for them to enjoy.

These bars had exactly the mix I was looking for - great taste and relatively healthy.  Since I am trying to use up ingredients I already had I did make a few substitutions to the recipe.  I used pecans rather than walnuts, and I added dried blueberries to the other dried fruits already listed, while reducing the amount of dates to compensate for this addition.  I think it would be great with all kinds of dried fruits.  My mix also seemed a little wet after I added the egg so I added more flour.


Make sure that you watch them towards the end of their baking time.  Some ovens run a little hot so they may not need the full 40 minutes, and can easily burn if you don't keep an eye on them.  I was conscious of this because I baked them in a 11 inch x 7 inch pan.  I think next time I might double the recipe so that I get bigger bars, mine seemed a little flat but I am sure this is because of the pan size.



Considering that the container that they were in came back empty, except for a few crumbs, I would say these were a resounding success. I think next time I might try the substitution of a banana for the egg.

Fantastic Fruit and Nut Bars

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cups dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg OR substitute with 1 (one) mashed banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line an entire 8 x 8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir in the brown sugar, pecans, and dried fruit. Use your fingers to make sure that all the fruit and nuts have been coated with the flour mixture.
  5. If you are using the banana substitute, mash the banana with a fork real well then add in the vanilla extract. Blend it all together and mix it into the fruit and nut mixture, OR in a separate bowl, with a wire whisk beat the egg and vanilla until light colored and thick, add the egg mixture to the fruit and nut mixture and mix until all the fruit and nut pieces are coated with the batter.
  6. Spread into the prepared pan, pressing to even it out.
  7. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the batter has pulled away from the sides of the pan.
  8. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  9. When cooled, lift the bars from the pan by the edges of the aluminum foil.
 Makes 16, 2-inch squares.



19 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! That Kate knows her stuff, doesn't she! Great job on a great recipe!

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  2. These look great! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. An empty container is always a good sign!

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  4. What a great way to get sustained energy! Yah Kate and yah you! :D

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  5. These sound great! They must have so many flavors from all the different fruits. Yum

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  6. I am sooo glad that you enjoyed those bars! I love that you used cherries and blueberries - that is how I will make them the next time around.

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  7. I saw these on Kate's site earlier too and thought they sounded delicious! Dried cherries and blueberries are two of my faves. I'll have to try these sometime too!

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  8. I love all the fruit in these bars! They look like they're bursting with flavor.

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  9. Looks wonderful...I will try something similar next week...great job:)

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  10. These are great! You could totally make them gluten free, and very easily. Great snack :)

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  11. Ooo, wonderful! I could use these after a long run when I am training for a half-marathon.

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  12. I too have way too many recipes saved and here's another another one I'm adding to the list:)

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  13. These look SO good...perfect to bake up on the weekend to pack in lunches during the week!!! They look like a combo of a cookie and a granola bar.

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  14. your fruit and nut bars look mouthwatering. I could use one late in the afternoon when my strength goes down
    thanks for sharing Felice

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  15. These look perfect for after a workout!

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  16. These look fabulous! I just recently made date bars and loved them!

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  17. These are on my list too. They look fantastic. Great job.

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