Are you noticing a pattern here lately? Salad, bar, salad...and here you go another bar. It's summer, and I'm still cooking for one. What can I say. I'm all about cooking things that I can eat all week.
These little beauties combine a few of my favorite things: cardamom, dried fruit, nuts, o and food shaped into a bar. Perfect.
They're chewy and little sweet, with some crunchy and some crumb. I made these a few weeks ago to take with me to Chicago. That's how I learned that they don't really travel well. They kind of turn into breakfast bar dust. So if you want to make them and take them, individually wrap them. Don't throw them into a gallon ziplock and put them in the bottom of your lap top bag. Just sayin.
I first saw these as marathon cookies on 101 Cookbooks (of course I immediately starred them), and after looking at a few other versions online, I came up with this combination. Then I turned them into bars, because that just sounds more appropriate for breakfast than cookies.
Apricot Cardamom Breakfast Bars
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
You can change the combination of the dried fruit and nuts and/or the spices for a different flavored bar. Next time I think I'm going to go with ginger, pepitas, and dried cranberries.
2 cups oatmeal, divided
1 cup whole wheat (or white whole wheat) flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
zest of one large lemon
15 oz. can white kidney or navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup agave nectar (or real maple syrup)*
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup chopped dried apricots
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 1 cup of oatmeal until it resembles a course flour. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt and pulse to combine. Pour dry mixture into a large bowl, then add the other cup of oatmeal and the lemon zest and stir.
-In the bowl of the food processor, pulse the beans until they are pureed. Add the butter, agave nectar, egg, and vanilla and pulse to combine.
-Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in the pine nuts and the dried apricots.
-Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside a baking sheet. Dust the parchment paper and your hands lightly with flour. Scoop the dough onto the parchment paper and shape into a long rectangle using your hands. The dough is sticky, but move quickly and it will come together fairly easily. (Another option if to refrigerate the dough for an hour.) Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise, and then into six sections top to bottom (for 12 total bars). Don't separate the bars, just make the cut with the knife so they will be easier to separate once they are baked.
-Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. 5 minutes before they are done, separate the bars so the edges will brown. Use a knife if they are not coming apart easily.
*You can substitute 1 cup packed brown sugar.