Apricot-Fig Meringue Bars
Nonstick cooking spray
17 1/2 ounce package oatmeal cookie mix
egg, lightly beaten
ounces dried Calimyrna figs (about 2 cups), stems removed
cup apricot preserves
teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the pan edges. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set pan aside. In a large bowl, use a pastry blender to cut butter into cookie mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the lightly beaten egg until mixture begins to cling together. Press dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool crust in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. In a food processor, combine figs and preserves. Cover and process until a thick paste forms. Spread fig mixture over the crust. Set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Spread the meringue over the fig mixture, swirling to create peaks.
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until meringue is set and lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Lift the cut bars out of the pan. Makes 24 bars.
From the Test Kitchen
Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.