Chewy Oatmeal Apricot Date Bars
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 40 min
- Ready Time: 105 min
- Yield: 2 dozen bars
- Pillsbury® Baking Spray with Flour
- 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening, plus 4 teaspoons
- OR 3/4 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening, plus 4 teaspoons
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups quick oats, uncooked, divided
- 1/2 cup Pillsbury BEST™ All Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup finely grated carrots
- 1 cup finely minced dried apricots
- 1 cup minced dates
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2/3 cup white baking chips
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese
- 1/4 cup Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
- OR 1/4 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
- 1 to 2 teaspoons milk
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
- HEAT oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with flour no-stick cooking spray.
- COMBINE brown sugar and 3/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons shortening in large bowl; beat at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Beat until well blended and fluffy.
- GRIND 1⁄2 cup oats in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Combine ground oats with flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in small bowl; add oat mixture gradually to shortening mixture, blending at low speed.
- ADD remaining 1 1/2 cups oats, carrots, apricots, dates, 1 cup nuts and white baking chips. Mix until partially blended. Finish mixing with spoon. Spread in prepared pan.
- BAKE 35 to 45 minutes or until center is set and cookie starts to pull away from sides of pan. Toothpick inserted in center should come out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack.
- COMBINE powdered sugar, cream cheese, 1/4 cup shortening, milk, lemon and vanilla extracts and lemon peel in medium bowl; beat at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat until fluffy.
- STIR in 1/3 cup nuts. Spread on baked bars. Cut into 2 1/4 x 2 inch bars.
- TIP The fruit can be quickly and easily chopped in a food processor.
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Serving Size (1 bar, 1/24 of recipe), Calories 330 (Calories from Fat 150), Total Fat 17g (Saturated Fat 4.5g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 95mg, Total Carbohydrate 42g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 33g), Protein 4g; Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 20%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 6%, Iron 6%.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.