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Apricot-Almond Bars with Chocolate
1 h 10 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Pureed dried apricots form the base of these irresistible bars, providing both moisture and sweetness. (A touch of honey is all the additional sweetening needed.) Chunks of dark chocolate are an exquisite contrast to the tangy apricots.”
1 cup dried apricots, divided
½ cup water
¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate, (6 ounces) or semisweet chocolate chips, divided
¼ cup sliced almonds
1Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2Combine ½ cup dried apricots and water in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Coarsely chop the remaining ½ cup apricots.
3Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
4Puree the cooked apricots and any remaining cooking liquid in a food processor. Add egg, egg white, oil, honey and vanilla; process until smooth. Add the flour mixture, ½ cup chocolate and the chopped apricots; pulse just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with almonds.
5Bake the bars until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let them cool in the pan on a wire rack.
6Melt the remaining ¼ cup chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water or in the microwave on Medium for 30 to 60 seconds. Spoon the chocolate into a sealable plastic bag, cut off the tip of one corner and drizzle the melted chocolate over the cooled bars. Let stand for about 10 minutes before cutting into bars.
Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze for longer storage.