Dried Apple and Raspberry Oat Bars

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Dried Apple and Raspberry Oat Bars RecipeThe summer-like days have moved on and rain and gray have slipped into their place.  I don’t mind.  It’s feels as close to winter as the weather here ever feels.  I especially appreciate the gloom and precipitation when I can remain nestled in my home, specifically the kitchen.  January passes quietly, no holiday events to attend, no malls, no obligations other than those I impose on myself.  I relish this quiet time.  Knowing I can rise early, turn on the oven, and bake till evening – well, that is my soup for the soul.
Dried Apple and Raspberry Oat Bars RecipeIf the weatherman’s prediction was correct, and that is always a big “if”, today was forecast to be one of those days.  In anticipation, I headed to the market yesterday to gather the ingredients needed for the several recipes I planned on baking if the rain came.  As I scurried out the door,  distracted by an arm-full  of dry cleaning, letters to be mailed, and a store return, I inadvertently left my market list on the table.  Have you ever done that?  Fortunately, there weren’t that many items I needed to buy and I just did my best to file through a mental list stored somewhere in my brain.  I did pretty well, except for grabbing freeze dried raspberries instead of fresh.

You might be wondering why freeze-dried raspberries ever ended up in my cart at all.  There is a reasonable explanation.  The evening before, I finally had the opportunity to page through Nancy Baggett‘s new cookbook Simply Sensational Cookies.  I love Nancy’s books and I was excited to see what new and interesting recipes she had brought us in her latest.  She never disappoints and it was difficult to distill the many I wanted to try down to just one.  I have been craving a good ole bar cookie so I chose her Raspberry-Apple Streusel  Bars.

While at the market and fishing around in my head for the ingredients I “thought” were in the bar I was planning to bake, I accidentally  mixed it up with a brownie recipe she had included in the book which contained freeze-dried raspberries.  That is how I got from fresh berries to the crisp, potent version that you will find in these bars.
Dried Apple and Raspberry Oat Bars RecipeSometimes it is fun to just play with a recipe.  I’m not as big of a  risk taker when I bake as I would like.  In fact, I’m not much of a risk taker at all.  I have no desire to bungie jump, or parachute from a plane, or wrestle an alligator, however, I would like to be a little more adventuresome when it comes to baking.  When I truly think about it, the risk is nil.  And even if what I pull from the oven is a total disaster, the only consequence would be the few dollars spent on the ingredients and a little nip at my ego.
Dried Apple and Raspberry Oat Bars RecipeI wasn’t about to change out of my snugly sweats and run to the market so I decided to make do.  I substituted freeze dried berries for the fresh originally called for in the recipe.  Now I don’t consider this a risk of gargantuan proportions, but it was a baby step.  And it worked.  They are sweet and tart; nutty and wholesome with oats.  I actually felt like I was eating something good for me.  These bars are keepers – both figuratively and literally.  If wrapped well, they easily stay fresh for 3 to 4 days, which gave me an idea.  I tucked the bars in a box with tender loving care and lots of bubble wrap and rushed them to the post office.  They are currently in flight to New York as a tasty little treat for J.
Dried Apple and Raspberry Oat Bars Recipe

 

Source:  Adapted from  Simply Sensational Cookies by: Nancy Baggett




3 thoughts on “Dried Apple and Raspberry Oat Bars

  1. I would have thought that the lack of moisture from the dried raspberries would have created a drier cookie. Do you know why it didn’t? Also, what does using dried apples over fresh apples do for the recipe?

    • When replacing the fresh berries with freeze-dried I realized that I would have to also replace some of the moisture I was forfeiting by not having the juice of the berries. I upped the amount of jam called for in the original recipe and that seemed to do the trick. As for the apples, if fresh were used instead of dried, you would have the opposite problem. The apples would put off juice during baking and the bars would be soggy. In addition, even if chopped fine, the apples might not bake tender enough in the limited amount of time needed to finish off the bars. Another upside to using dried fruit is that it is a staple that can be on hand at all times. When the urge strikes for a fruit and oat bar, simply head to your pantry instead of the market.

  2. It`s been rainy where I live too. I`m sad I don`t have the time to bake all day when it rains. I would love that! These bars look great! I love eating those dried apple chips. Haha