Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stone Fruit Bars: Cherry Oat

Once again, I am trying to bake and cook lighter because with the move and graduation I haven't had time to cook or really watch what I was eating. At the bakery I work at (Bakery Gingham) we have this cherry oat bar that is once of my favorite things to sell. It's delicious. Its saying a lot for me to declare that a favorite as I am less into fruity desserts and more into chocolate, peanut butter and cream cheese desserts. I searched for a similar recipe online because A.) I don't know the recipe at work and B.) if I did I wouldn't be a very good employee to go sharing it for all to see. The recipe I found satisfied my craving. I changed it up a bit to make it more my own. If I were to make these again (which I will with peaches) I will use a slightly smaller pan so the bars are thicker. These were pretty thin, which was okay because it gave them a nice crunch, but I like a thicker bar.

Stone Fruit Bars: Cherry Oat
Adapted from


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Fruit Filling:
4 1/2 cups chopped cherries (any combination, fresh or frozen), divided
1 1/2 cups dried cherries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


To prepare crust: Combine 3/4 cup nuts (or oats), whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add butter; pulse until well incorporated.

Whisk egg, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract in a small bowl. With the motor running, add the mixture to the food processor. Process, then pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary, until the mixture begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds (it will look crumbly). Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts (or oats). Set aside for the topping.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

To prepare fruit filling & assemble bars: Combine 4 cups chopped fruit, orange juice, sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. (It may take up to 10 minutes to get a thick result if you start with frozen fruit.) Stir in the remaining chopped fruit, the dried fruit and vanilla.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust. Spread the fruit filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling. Then sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the reserved topping.

Bake the bars for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely before cutting into bars, at least 1 1/2 hours

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