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Aztec Fruit Bars

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
¼ teaspoon salt
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped raw almonds
¾ cup quartered dried apricots
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup quartered dried figs
½ cup pitted and quartered dates
½ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup popped amaranth
1 large egg
1 tablespoon honey
½ tablespoon honey

Aztec Fruit Bars

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    Ingredients

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    The “Aztec” part comes from the amaranth, an ingredient they used and prized for its nutritional value. It was even part of Mayan religious rituals. In Mexico, it’s mostly found in candy bars called alegrías , which is sweetened, popped amaranth. I made them more into a breakfast bar. You need to pop the amaranth in a dry skillet just like you would pop corn kernels. Follow the package instructions and use ¼ cup for this recipe, and the remainder you can use to sprinkle on salads or even use as a crust on fish.

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    Steps

    1
    Done

    Preheat the oven to 325°F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside.

    2
    Done

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ancho chile powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the almonds, dried fruit, bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, and popped amaranth. Use your fingers to make sure that everything has been coated with the flour mixture evenly.

    3
    Done

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg, honey, and vanilla until thick, about 1 minute. Add the egg mixture to the fruit mixture and stir, using a spatula, until everything is coated. Spread into the prepared baking pan, pressing to even out.

    4
    Done

    Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool. When cooled, lift the bar from the pan by the edges of the aluminum foil. Use a sharp knife to cut into 16 even squares.

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