Apricot-Pecan Oatmeal Bars
1 1/2 cups oats, quick cooking (not instant)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 ounces pecans, toasted and chopped (volume = generous half cup)
2 1/2 ounces of apricots, chopped (volume = generous half cup)
1/2 cup salted butter (not light butter)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
In a mixing bowl, toss oats with salt. Stir in pecans and apricots.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. As butter starts to melt and coats pan, add brown sugar and maple syrup. Heat just until brown sugar is melted and mixture starts to bubble. Turn off heat and quickly stir in vanilla.
Pour butter mixture over oats and stir well until thoroughly mixed. Press tightly into lined pan. Let cool at room temperature for about an hour. Lift parchment from pan and score into 9 bars – do not separate bars. They will seem very crumbly at this point and won’t hold together properly. Place parchment with bars back into pan and chill for a few hours. Separate bars. You may want to cut each bar in half once more to make 18 squares. These are rich!
Makes 9 large bars or 18 squares