Hearty, yummy, and even fairly healthy (if you want it to be!). These are not like granola bars but more like a brownie with a nice crust. Originally taken from BH&G "New Cook Book", 1989--now that I live overseas, I love these older cookbooks because so many of the recipes are still "from scratch" and don't use convenience products that are too expensive or haven't come here yet. Thanks to my Grams for sending it to me when I moved! :)
- In mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking soda.
- Cut in margarine/butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the flour mixture.
- Press remaining flour mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x9x2 baking pan.
- Spread with desired filling.
- Sprinkle with reserved flour mixture.
- Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden.
- Cool in pan on wire rack.
- Cut into bars.
- FILLING OPTIONS:.
- ***Following cookbook's 'shortcut' suggestion of substituting 10 oz jar of preserves in place of homemade filling, I used a store-bought, very dense, low-moisture apple butter (like a thick jam). I have also tried it with blueberry preserves but the preserves were too moist--it made the bars sticky not good.***.
- RAISIN FILLING:.
- In medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Add 1 cup raisins. Cook & stir until thickened & bubbly.
- APPLE-CINNAMON FILLING:.
- Peel/core/chop 2 medium apples. In medium saucepan, combine apples, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a dash of ground cloves. Bring apple mixture to a boil; reduce heat & simmer 8-10 minutes or until apples are very tender.
- APRICOT-COCONUT FILLING:.
- In medium saucepan, combine 1 cup diced dried apricots and 3/4 cup water. Bring apricot mixture to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon all purpose flour. Stir into apricot mixture. Cook and stir 1 minute more or until mixture is very thick. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut.