Memories of her mom's fruity date bars inspired Shannon Koene of Blacksburg, Virginia to create this wonderful recipe. “I've had great results replacing the apricot jam with orange marmalade,” notes Shannon.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 cup 100% apricot spreadable fruit or jam
- 1-3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and dates. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1-1/3 cups and is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in spreadable fruit until blended; set aside. In a food processor, combine the oats, flour, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add butter; cover and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Press 3 cups crumb mixture into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread date mixture to within 1/2 in. of edges. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture; press down gently.
- Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Apricot Date Squares in Taste of Home
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