Has the doctor told you to cut back on the fat in your diet or recommended more whole grains for you? If so, this recipe for Apricot Cookie Bars may be just what you need. In this recipe, some of the fat is replaced with orange juice and there is twice as much whole-wheat flour as there is all-purpose flour. These are simple changes that will give you a healthier product without loosing flavor or texture. Give this recipe a try soon; you will be glad you did.
1 cup + 2 tbsp whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp butter
1 3/4 cups chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup water
Cook and stir the apricots, orange juice, and water together in a 1-quart saucepan. Over medium heat, heat just to boiling. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the apricots are tender and the mixture has thickened. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square pan with nonstick cooking oil spray; set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup of the whole-wheat flour, the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg, brown sugar, oil, orange juice concentrate, and the vanilla at medium speed until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture just until blended. Reserve 1/2 cup of this dough mixture for the topping. Pat the remaining dough into the prepared pan. Spread the apricot filling over the dough.
To the reserved dough add the remaining 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour and the butter; blend with a pastry blender or a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apricot filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is a golden brown and firm. Cool completely before cutting into 16 bars.
Note: The orange juice replaces some of the fat in this recipe plus the majority of the flour is whole-wheat, thus making this recipe healthier than most bars.