Monday, March 23, 2009

Apricot Bars (improvised)

A couple of years ago I posted a favourite recipe for Raisin-Sesame Cookies. I wanted to make some today, mostly because they're one of the few good oatmeal cookie recipes I have that use oil instead of butter or margarine (we have lots of oil, short on the other things). But we had only a couple of spoonfuls of sesame seeds left, and I didn't want to use raisins because Mr. Fixit hates them.

But there was half a box of generic toasted-O cereal, which it turned out nobody likes much for breakfast and which therefore has been sitting in the cupboard. And a whole container of dried apricots. So Mama Squirrel got an idea: we ran about a cupful of cereal and a dozen or so apricots through the food processor, not to completely pulverize it all but to leave the cereal kind of crumbly and have the fruit chopped in small bits. With the bit of sesame seeds stirred in, there was a bit more than the required cupful, but that didn't matter--we just put it all in and adjusted the liquid a bit. We didn't put any cinnamon in either.

The other change was due to the realities of a busy homeschool morning: Mama Squirrel didn't really have time to push cookies out onto sheets (or wash the pans afterwards), so we spread the dough in a greased 9 x 13 inch glass pan, and baked it at 350 degrees (rather than the usual 375 degrees). The "big oatmeal cookie" baked fairly quickly--it was done in about twenty minutes, and Mama Squirrel cut it in squares before it got hard.

Verdict: yes!

Here's the original recipe:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup milk or enough to get the dough to hold together

Sift flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in raisins.

Beat together oil, sugar and egg. Add rolled oats, sesame seeds and milk. Combine with flour mixture until well blended.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets, allowing room for cookies to spread. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes (watch them at the end). Makes about 4 dozen medium-sized cookies.

(Source: The Harrowsmith Cookbook Volume One, contributed by Holly McNally of Fredericton, New Brunswick.)

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