Friday, March 6, 2009

Tu B'Shevat Bars

(Originally posted 2/4/09)

Chag Sameach! Happy Tu B'Shevat.

One of my traditions every year for Tu B'Shevat (the new year of the trees) is making Tu B'Shevat Bars. This recipe contains fruits from all three 'species': hard outer shell (orange, nuts), hard inner pit (dates), and entirely edible (carob, raisins, figs). The recipe uses fruits primarily found in Israel.

I do warn you, however...these bars are addictive.

Tu B'Shevat Bars

1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped figs
1/3 cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/2 cup carob powder
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground clove
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

In a small bowl, combine the raisins, dates, figs, orange juice, and orange zest. Set this aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil, and sugar on a medium speed with an electric mixer. Add the honey slowly while continuing to beat on a medium speed. Beat in vanilla and carob powder until creamy. Stir in flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well mixed. Stir in nuts and fruit mixture by hand.

Spoon into a well-greased and floured 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees F 30 to 35 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely and cut into bars. Yields about 40 bars.

Note: this recipe contains honey, which means that it will overbake if not watched carefully. Check the bars after 25 minutes, and then check every 4-5 minutes after that.

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