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Desserts

Sweet tart oat nut bars

Sweet tart oat nut bars
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Many hands help make holiday cookies. That's true when you're gathered with family and friends and vats of colored icing. It's true when you're running a contest for cookie recipes, when it takes thousands of readers, dozens of cooking school ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes, plus cooling time for the bars | Makes about 4 dozen bars
  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) pitted prunes, chopped
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Step 2In the bowl of a food processor, or in a blender, pulse the prunes and orange juice until almost smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl, and stir in the nuts.

Step 3In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and honey. Beat in the egg, then the salt, baking soda and wheat germ (if using). Slowly beat in the flour and oats until evenly combined.

Step 4Spread a scant half of the oat mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with the prune mixture, spreading it evenly to within one-half inch of the edges of the pan. Crumble the remaining batter over the top of the prune layer and pat down gently.

Step 5Bake the bars until browned and the top springs back when touched, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack, then cut into bars.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Ronna Ballister.

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