Yield: 8 large bars to 16 small squares
This recipe is a new iteration of a longstanding Thanksgiving favorite: Cranberry Crumble. I use the same crumble, only I add a smidgen of ground ginger and switched out pecans for sliced almonds. Then I substituted my Apricot-Cream Cheese Filling–with its hint of fresh lemon and almond extract–for the original cranberry filling. Now I have an easy, delectable, and very pretty–in a rustic sort of way–favorite bar for the cool months and the summer months.
Apricot-Cream Cheese Filling:
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup plump dried apricots (about 12), chopped (I get about 6 to 8 pieces per apricot)
In a small bowl or cup, whisk together flaxseed meal and lemon juice. Set aside to thicken. In a medium or large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and almond extract, and continue beating until creamy. Beat in flaxseed meal and lemon mixture until fully and fully incorporated. Fold in dried apricots. Set aside while you make crust/topping.
Crust and Topping:
½ cup vegan butter, melted
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned or quick-cooking oats
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper or foil, pressing smooth, and spray again with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients, except almonds, with a fork. Spoon half of this mixture into prepared pan patting gently into place. Pour filling over and spread to cover all the way to the edges. Mix almonds with remaining pastry mixture and sprinkle evenly over filling. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool completely on a wire rack and cover and chill for several hours before lifting out of pan and slicing with a serrated knife.
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