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White House Fruit and Oat Bars

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“This recipe appeared in the NY Times. It was created by the White House pastry chef as Michelle Obama wanted something healthier than cookies and pastries.”
25hrs 30mins
24 bars

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil or 6 tablespoons other neutral oil, plus extra for brushing pan
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 12 cup mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame
  • 12 cup honey
  • 13 cup dark brown sugar
  • 13 cup maple syrup
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 12 cups mixed dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, apricots, papaya, pineapple and cranberries (at least 3 kinds, cut into small pieces if large)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, letting a few inches hang over side of pan. Brush with oil. You can also use a 9 x 13 pan but the bars will be longer and flatter.
  2. Spread oats and seeds on another baking pan and toast in oven just until golden and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes, shaking the pan once.
  3. In a saucepan, combine oil, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Stir over medium heat until smooth and hot. In a mixing bowl, toss together toasted oats and seeds, dried fruit and cardamom. Pour hot sugar mixture over and stir until well combined.
  4. While mixture is warm, transfer to prepared pan, pressing into pan evenly with an offset spatula.
  5. Bake until brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool completely. Using the overhanging foil or paper, lift out of pan and place on a work surface. Cut into bars, about 1 1/2 inches by 3 inches.

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