Swapped at the 2011 Cookie Swap by SENY Food Artisans columnist Stephanie Klose.
Adapted from David Lebovitz (who adapted it from Alice Medrich)
- 6 tablespoons (50 g) flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (90 g) packed, light or dark brown sugar
- 2 cups nuts (200 g), toasted and coarsely ground [I used half walnuts, half hazelnuts]
- 1 1/4 cups (170 g) dates, pitted and cut into eighths
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup (170 g) dried apricot halves, preferably from California, cut into sixths
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan across the bottom and up the sides with two sheets of aluminum foil, making a big criss-cross with the sides overhanging.
Preheat the oven to 325°F and position the rack in the center of the oven.
In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the brown sugar, nuts, dates, cherries, and apricots. Use your fingers to mix the fruit, separate any pieces sticking together.
Beat the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then mix it with the fruit and nut mixture until everything’s coated with the batter. Spread the mixture in the baking pan and press gently to even it out.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top of the bars are golden brown and has pulled away just-slightly from the sides of the pan. Cool the bars in the pan, then lift out.
To cut the cooled bars, use a heavy sharp knife, such as a bread knife, for best results in getting clean slices. Storage: The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.