August 8, 2011

fruit and nut bars

This was the result of the variation I did with the classic date bars or what we love to call "food for the gods" in the Philippines. I was short on dried dates and only had half a bag left so I thought about substituting dried mixed fruit to make up for the amount in the recipe. This kind of dried fruit mix can be found in most grocery stores but I ordered this fruit blend online from King Arthur Flour. It worked and gave these bars a memorable twist. These were made with 100% whole wheat flour. I also combined the butter with canola oil instead of using all butter. Just a few adjustments made it lighter and made me feel less guilty indulging in this sweet snack treat :-)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick softened butter
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups chopped pitted dates and dried fruit mix combination
2 cups chopped walnuts

Line or cover a 9 x 9 square cake pan with foil. Evenly coat with non-stick baking spray. Combine flour, baking and salt in a bowl. Set aside. In another bowl using a wire whisk, mix butter, oil and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in dried fruits and nuts. Mixture will be thick but will spread out easily. Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and level with a rubber spatula. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until done. Cool for a few minutes then cut into bars.

These are great for breakfast and snacks. When it's this easy to make, there's no need to buy packaged fruit bar snacks which are oftentimes high in sugar content and loaded with preservatives that are not so good for us.

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