You can substitute other types of dried fruit in these chewy, chocolate-topped bars, based on what you have on hand.
Make Ahead: The bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Servings: 24 bars
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2/3 cup dried sour cherries or cranberries, or chopped dried apricots, pears, peaches or prunes, or a mixture (see headnote)
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
- Pinch salt
- 6 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, broken into pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking oil spray, or line with parchment paper.
Spread the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven for 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool completely, then coarsely chop.
Combine the butter, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted, stirring occasionally to blend. Let cool slightly.
Combine the dried fruit and oats in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and the toasted pine nuts and seeds. Pour in the warm butter mixture and mix well.
Transfer the batter to the baking pan, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon to make an even layer. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan containing a few inches of barely bubbling water (medium heat). Pour it over the top of baked slab (still uncut and warm).
When the chocolate has set (not firmly), cut the slab into 24 bars, wiping the knife clean between cuts.
Adapted from "Weekend Baking: Easy Recipes for Relaxed Family Baking," by Sarah Randell (Ryland Peters and Small, 2010).
Tested by Nicole Schofer.
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