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Whole Grain Apple Filled Bars

My daughter loves those boxed cereal bars. You know the ones; apple, strawberry, blueberry multi grain bars. She’ll gobble up a whole box if I let her! But, I’ve been on a mission to simplify the foods my family and I consume. Which means, not so many multi grain bars for Miss Liz, much to her disappointment.

Yesterday I set out to make my own multi grain bars for her. I searched the internet high and low for a recipe, something similar to what I could buy in the store. But nothing caught my eye. I consider myself a fairly good baker so I decided to make my own recipe. They turned out better than I ever could have hoped! Completely different than what I was going for though. But that’s okay. I made a healthy treat for my daughter to enjoy.

I may never buy boxes bars again!

Whole Grain Apple Filled Bars

These homemade bars take about an hour start to finish and yield roughly 16 scrumptious bars!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups oats (quick or old fashioned oats)

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons cold water

Filling:

3 large apples (I used Macintosh apples)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

A Pinch of nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt. Pulse for 20-30 seconds.

3. Add the butter and then slowly add the cold water. Pulse until the dough holds together when pressed.

*Alternatively, if you don’t own a good processor, step 2 can be completed in a blender and step 3 can be done with a stand or hand mixer.

4. In a separate bowl, mix the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg together until the apples are well coated.

5. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

6. Divide the dough mixture in half and press half into the baking dish. Lightly grease your palms, and press the mix down evenly.

7. Spread the apples evenly on top of the mix in the dish. Sprinkle the remaining mix evenly on top of the preserves and gently press the mix down.

8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

9. Let cool for about an hour. Then cut into 1 1/2 x 4-inch bars.

These bars can be stored at room temperature up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to a week.

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