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Four-Ingredient Apricot Bars


These tasty Four-Ingredient Apricot Bars are easy to make, while being easy on the wallet. The sweetness comes from the apricot preserves, and rolled oats provide the crunch. Mashed bananas stand in beautifully for the egg, and the vanilla extract really jazzes it up!
Makes 12 bars



2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon rolled oats
3/4 cup thick apricot preserves (see note)



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper, leaving an overhang of 2-inch “wings” on two opposite sides of the pan.

To make the dough, put the bananas and the vanilla extract in a large bowl and mash into a chunky purée, using a potato masher or large fork. Add the oats and stir with a large spoon to thoroughly combine.


Press half of the dough mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. Spread the apricot preserves in an even layer, over the dough. Top with the remaining dough, patting it down gently, into an even layer.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 15 minutes. Cut the “cake” into 12 bars, using a serrated knife, wiping the knife clean often. Using the paper "wings" carefully lift the bars out of the pan, and set them on the wire rack. Let the bars cool for 10 to 20 minutes before serving. Wrapped tightly and refrigerated, leftover bars will keep up to 2 days.


Chef’s Note: If the preserves are “watery,” drain the excess liquid from the preserves before measuring and using in this recipe. Do this by placing the preserves in a fine-screened sieve, set over a bowl. Let drain for 15 minutes. Proceed with recipe as directed. If you prefer a sweet treat without any processed sugar, be certain to use "all fruit" or "just fruit" preserves.