These dried fruit bars are bursting with fresh flavor and just a hint of natural sweetness. Traditionally made with raisins or dried figs during the Holiday's you can change it up with your favorite dried fruit or what you have in your pantry.
Is it just me or are the simple, old fashioned sort of treats always the most anticipated during the winter Holiday's? Take sugar cookies and gingerbread men, egg nog and spiced cider. Fruit cake and minced meat pie may be on the love em or hate em list but my dried fruit bars are always requested at each and every Christmas gathering.
It's fun to get caught up in all of the Holiday fun and festivities. Shopping for gifts that will bring smiles to everyone's faces, baking goodies and delivering them to neighbors and friends. Before you know it Christmas has come and gone and the only proof that it happened is pieces of tissue paper in between the couch cushions and stray pine needles on the floor. I admit that I often forget about those who aren't as lucky as myself and who aren't surrounded by family or packages prettily wrapped under the tree.
My 10 year old son came home from school yesterday and showed me a gift that his new friend had given him. Two gift cards from Walmart that he had wrapped up in newspaper to give to my son. (which we checked that the balance was zero so there was no need to return them) This little boy has given my son small trinkets since we moved into the neighborhood a few weeks ago and even used his 'bonus' gift purchase from the school Holiday gift shop to buy a key chain for my son. You see, he was given this bonus gift because he lives in a group home and has no money for buying gifts for his family. In fact, my son isn't sure his mother is around because when he asked him if he wanted to come over to our house to play but that he needed to ask his mom to call my mom first the little boy said he didn't feel like talking about it.
This spurred a heartfelt conversation with our three young children about how there are children in our schools and all over the World who are far less fortunate than ourselves. That we need to remember all of our many blessings every single day and treat others kindly as we never know what is going on in their lives.
These dried blueberry bars are actually my mom's recipe for raisin date bars and remind me of the simple treats we had as children. Along with home made candied pecans and freshly popped popcorn balls these fruit bars were a very special Holiday treat. The eggnog I can live without.
TIME 45 MINUTES YIELDS 12-15 BARS
- 1/2 cup real butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar in the raw
- 1 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix such as Bob's Red Mill
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole oats such as Coach's Oats
- 1-2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9x2" baking dish with coconut oil. Cream Butter and sugar together in a mixer until smooth. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry mixture into the creamed butter and sugar. Add oats and 1 tablespoon water and stir to combine. The mixture should be crumbly. Divide the mixture in half. Pat half of the mixture onto the bottom of your prepared baking dish.
Dried Fruit Filling
- 1/4 cup sugar in the raw
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups dried blueberries (or raisins, cranberries, cherries etc.)
Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Let cool slightly.
Spoon filling over the crumb mixture in the baking dish. Spoon the other half of the crumb mixture over the top of the fruit filling. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely and then drizzle with Cinnamon Icing.
Mix 1 c powdered sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir in 1 tablespoon milk (enough for drizzling consistency)