I initially bought apricot jam to make my Great-Grandma's apricot tarts, a Christmas staple in my family. Unfortunately I didn't get to the tarts, so I've had an un-opened jar of apricot jam in my fridge for ages and needed a reason to use it. I kept telling N that I was going to make some type of dessert with the jam, but he wasn't convinced that a non-chocolate based dessert would satisfy his sweet tooth. These bars definitely changed his mind, and they were so tasty that I couldn't stop at one. We won't pretend that they are completely healthy, but I made sure to add some fiber and protein with the flax and nuts.
Apricot Oat-Nut Bars
1 1/2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups whole grain flour
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ground flax
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup pecan pieces
500 ml. apricot jam (pick a reduced sugar version)
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine the oats, flour, butter (softened), brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and flax in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, blend the mixture until it is well combined. It should resemble coarse crumbs.
Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread the apricot jam over the entire crumb crust.
Take the second half of the crumb mixture and add in the pecans. Top the apricot jam layer with the reserved crumb mix as a topping. Gently press so that the topping sticks together.
Bake for 35 minutes at 350F or until the jam bubbles up.