Tangy-Chewy Fruit Bars

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Tangy-Chewy Fruit Bars

star rating (4) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

With their chewy-crunchy crust, and butter-and-cream enhanced topping, these fruit bars are very rich, but not overly sweet... especially if you add the tart and sour flavor, which gives the filling incredibly bright and sassy flavor.

Crust
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioners' or glazing sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Topping
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) half and half
1 1/2 cups (7 to 9 ounces) of your favorite dried fruit, cut into 1/4" pieces if large; cranberries, apricots, golden or regular raisins, cherries, pineapple, mango, and apple are all good choices
1 cup (3 3/4 ounces) diced pecans
1/2 teaspoon tart and sour flavor, optional

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" pan.

To prepare the crust: In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add the flour, scraping the bowl and mixing until everything is well combined. Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned.

To prepare the topping: Melt the butter with the salt, sugar, and half and half. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Stir in the fruit, nuts, and tart and sour flavor. Spread the topping over the baked crust.

To bake the bars: Bake the bars for 14 to 16 minutes, until the crust is starting to brown (you should be able to see just the edge of it), and the fruit mixture is bubbly. Remove from the oven. After 45 minutes, use a bench knife or table knife to loosen the edges of the bars from the pan. Don't wait too long, or they will have cemented themselves to the sides of the pan. Cut the bars when they're completely cool. Yield: 16 rich, sticky bars.

Reviews

1
  • star rating 11/26/2010
  • jill@trends from KAF Community
  • W-a-y too sweet. There are much better ways to use your ingredients and calories. Won't make again.
  • star rating 05/21/2010
  • Ilene from Silver Spring
  • Just a word of intro...I am kosher so I substituted organic oleo in the recipe for the butter and Mimiccream for the half and half as we do not eat/mix dairy products with meat meals. I also made the recipe with butter for another time and there was no taste difference. I did not use the tart and sweet flavoring as I did not know if it was kosher or not. HOWEVER, I made the non-dairy bars for a gathering of women; the cookies disappeared, and they clamored for the recipe. I made it another time and again, the recipe was sought. I told my ladies about the King Arthur Flour site and the wonderful recipes listed. These bar cookies are truly delicious and addictive. Now, I did do a bit of tweaking with one batch - I substituted sliced almonds for the pecans and then sprinkled a SMALL amount of choc chips on top before baking. They were inhaled by the guests! I think that this bar will now be "my signature" cookie contribution when i am asked to bake. UUUUMMM good!
  • star rating 04/16/2010
  • M.E. from Virginia
  • I tried this recipe and the topping was great but didn't care to much for the crust. So...I tried it with your oatmeal crust from another recipe and Oh My what a great bar it makes. I also used the cherry flavoring because KA didn't have the tart and sour, but I found that online and can't wait to try them again. One of my favorites.
  • star rating 04/06/2009
  • Kathy M from Reno, Nev
  • These are delicious. We especially like them with the optional tart and sour flavor. I great way to use up odds and ends of dried fruit.
1