Aztec Fruit Bars
- Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying foil
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup raw almonds, chopped
- 3/4 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup dates, pitted and cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup dried figs, cut into quarters
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup popped amaranth
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Prepare an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ancho chile powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the almond, apricots, chocolate, cranberries, dates, figs, brown sugar and popped amaranth. Use your fingers to make sure that everything has been coated with the flour mixture evenly.
In a separate bowl, using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the honey, vanilla and egg until thick in texture, about 1 minute. Add the egg mixture to the fruit and flour mixture and mix using a spatula until everything is coated with the egg mixture. Spread onto the prepared baking pan, pressing to even out.
Bake until the batter is golden brown and can pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting.
Lift the bar from the pan by the edges of the aluminum foil. Use a sharp knife to cut into 16 even squares.
Recipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid