Fruit-and-nut toffee bars

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PREP TIME

20 min

Makes

24 bars

* PLUS Standing Time: 10 minutes, Baking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup cold unsalted butter , cut into chunks
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 cups sultana raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 300-mL can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly butter a 9×13-inch (3-L) baking dish or coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place flour and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Whirl until mixed. Add butter. Pulse until dough comes together. Or, in a medium-size bowl, stir flour with icing sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture comes together. Using your hands, form into a loose ball. Place mixture in baking dish. Press evenly over bottom. Bake in centre of 350F (180C) oven until edges are golden-tinged, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 325F (160C).
  • While base is baking, coarsely chop apricots. In a large bowl, stir apricots with raisins, cranberries, pecans and almonds. Stir in condensed milk until evenly mixed. Scrape over warm base and spread out as evenly as possible. Bake in centre of preheated 325F (160C) oven until edges are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of dish to loosen. Cut into 2-inch (5-cm) bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 262,
  • Protein
  • 4.4 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 35.8 g,
  • Fat
  • 12.6 g,
  • Fibre
  • 2.9 g,
  • Sodium
  • 25 mg.

The Test Kitchen staff couldn’t resist these sticky toffee bars from Chatelaine tester Jenny Koniuk’s mother, Beverley Hayne. They have a buttery shortbread base and lots of delicious dried fruit.

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