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Holiday cookies: Apricot-clove crumb bars

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 12:01 am

We've given the classic crumb bar a holiday-worthy makeover with the addition of ground cloves.

Not only do cloves sport a taste and aroma perfect for the season, they also pair wonderfully with the apricot preserve filling.

But feel free to mix it up. Just about any preserve could be substituted. Cherry, peach or fig would be particularly good.

Apricot-clove crumb bars

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Makes 24 bars

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

12-ounce jar apricot preserves

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, cloves and pecans. Stir in the melted butter until well moistened.

Spread two-thirds of the mixture into the prepared pan and pat down evenly. Spread the apricot preserves over the mixture, then crumble the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool in the pan, then cut into 24 squares. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to a week.

Per bar: 230 calories; 100 calories from fat (43 percent of total calories); 11 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 20 g sugar; 2 g protein; and 75 mg sodium.