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Gold Rush Bars

Gold Rush BarsLike a treasure chest filled with gold, these cookie bars are filled with fruit treasures like dried apricots, figs and dates.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sweet white dessert wine, such as Muscat or Late Harvest Riesling
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
1/2 cup dried dates, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts, chopped
Confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, optional

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 13x9x2-inch pan with foil; butter bottom of foil. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In small saucepan, heat wine over medium heat until bubbles begin to form at edge. Add apricots, figs and dates; stir and return to a boil. Cover pan, turn off heat and allow to steep 30 minutes until liquid is absorbed; cool.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars using an electric mixer until light nd fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then extracts; mix until combined. Gradually add flour mixture; stir well.
  4. Spread half of batter over bottom of prepared pan using a buttered, etal spatula. Spread cooled fruit evenly over dough. Drop spoonfuls of remaining batter over fruit layer and gently spread to cover. Sprinkle walnuts over top.
  5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and center is set. Cool pan on a wire rack.
  6. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Lift foil to remove bars from pan; cut into diamond shapes. Store bars in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes 48 diamond-cut bars.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.