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This led me to make my Sunrise Bars that day for entry into the Boulder County State Fair, which started today. These bars are so delicious for breakfast or a light snack, and couldn't be easier to make. When my husband and I both take a tray of these to our offices, it is always a race to see which company finishes them first.
Inspired by Giada De Laurentis' Apricot Oat Bars
Canola oil cooking spray
1 (13 ounce) jar apricot preserves
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries (Giada uses chopped dried apricots)
1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 packed cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1-3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup (4 oz.) chopped pecans (Giada uses walnuts)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 metal baking dish with canola oil cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with canola oil cooking spray and set aside.
Filling: In a small bowl, mix together the preserves and dried cranberries. Set aside.
Crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in the oats and pecans. Add the melted butter, egg and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
Using a fork or clean fingers, lightly press half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the crust leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the pan. Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture and gently press to flatten. Bake until light golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for at least 1 hour. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (if they last that long).