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Fruit and Nut Bars

These eight-ingredient bars are the perfect way to fit in that daily dose of nuts and satisfy that sweet tooth at the same time. Plus, they go from pantry to plate in less than an hour!
Fruit and Nut Bars
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I often find myself craving something sweet and baked during the workday—and I give in to that craving pretty much 100 percent of the time, usually treating myself to a chocolate chip cookie or brownie. One alternative? Bringing in a snack that both satisfies the craving and lets me feel good about what I'm eating—like these fruit and nut bars! They're the best of both worlds, with added protein and omega-3s with the nuts and fiber from the dried fruit, light on added sugar and fat!

Recipe from Joy of Baking.  Makes 16 squares.

What You'll Need:

1/3 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 cups dried fruit (use a mix—I used apricots, dates, and cherries)
1 1/2 cups dry roasted nuts (again, mix it up! My choice was pecans and almonds)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

What to Do:  

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8-by-8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Coarsely chop fruit and nuts until most pieces are relatively uniform in size. Set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in a large bowl until evenly combined. Add sugar, fruit, and nuts, and mix to coat all fruit and nuts with the flour mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg with vanilla until frothy and thick, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir egg into flour mixture until evenly mixed.
  6. Spread mixture into prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth out the top.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

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