So, since baking is basically my hobby, sometimes I want to bake, with no particular recipe in mind. When I made these bars, I had actually written on my to-do list "bake something". The night before, I dug through cookbooks and magazines, and I came to this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens "100 Best Cookies" magazine. Since I bake so much with chocolate, I thought the fruitiness would be a nice change. The only problem was that the recipe was actually for Cherry Almond Bars, but when I went to the store, I couldn't find cherry preserves, and I really didn't feel like going to another store to find it. So, I went with peach, and a smidgen of apricot for tang. I have to say, it was an excellent choice. So fruity and oaty.
These bars are super easy to prepare, and are really popular. The recipe makes 36 small-ish bars, which is great for a crowd. One thing I would suggest -- if you are planning to use something other than cherry, I would use more preserves than the recipe calls for. I would have like more fruitiness, and I think that the amount that is called for would have worked just fine for the stronger flavor of cherry. Oh well, something to fix for next time.
Chewy Peach-Almond Bars
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 10 ounce jar peach preserves
4 ounces apricot preserves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges. Grease foil; set pan aside.
- In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and almond extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour, the oats, and almonds.
- Remove 1/2 cup of the dough and set aside. Press the remaining dough evenly into bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spread with preserves. Crumble the reserved dough evenly over preserves layer.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using edges of foil, lift cookies out of pan. Cut into bars. Makes 36 bars.