Apple-Date Bars

Yield: 16     (serving size: 1 bar)

2 cups all-purpose flour or 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (about 9 oz. flour)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

2 cups Splenda 50/50 granulated sugar blend

6 tbsp. Smart balance stick butter

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1/3 cup applesauce

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pitted dates

1 tsp. flour

1 1/2 cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 large)

1 1/2 cups chopped peeled Red Delicious apple (about 1 large)

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

cooking spray

  1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with knife. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl; stir with whisk. Set aside.
  2. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg whites, beating well after each addition. Stir in applesauce and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture; stir just until combined to form a stiff batter. Toss dates with 1 tsp. flour. Toss apples with juice. Add dates, apples, and nuts to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Pour batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  3. Bate at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Based on recipe from Cooking Light magazine, October 2006

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