Peanut butter and apricot raise the baking “bar”
Pre- or post-workout, or as a snack on the go, these oatmeal crumble bars deliver a protein kick to keep you fueled with energy throughout the day. Sandwiched with dried apricot filling, there is a little bit of sweet to make these bars feel like a treat.
Peanut Butter and Apricot Oatmeal Crumble Bars
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Makes 20 bars
2 cups (500 ml) dried apricots
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) apricot or peach jam
1 cup (250 ml) large flake oats
1 cup (250 ml) whole wheat or all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (150 mL) brown sugar
3/4 tsp (4 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1/3 cup (75 mL) peanut butter
1/3 cup (75 mL) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup (60 ml) peanuts, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8×8-inch (2 L) baking pan with parchment paper. Place apricots and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover, stirring occasionally until apricots have absorbed water, about 7 minutes. Stir in jam. Remove from heat, then puree in a food processor. It doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir oats with flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in peanut butter. Mixture should be clumpy and will not be smooth. Using your fingers, work in butter until mixture is crumbly. Place slightly more than half the mixture, about 1 3/4 cups (425 mL), onto the parchment paper in the pan. Press firmly to form a single layer. Top with apricot mixture then gently spread to cover.
3. Toss peanuts into remaining oat mixture, keeping the crumble as best you can. Crumble evenly over apricot mixture. Bake in centre of preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Additional recipes can be found at www.peanutbureau.ca.