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Fruit and Chocolate Bar Cookies picture

Fruit and Chocolate Bar Cookies

These bar cookies have some of the goodness of an energy bar and the sweetness of a cookie, so they work just as well for a snack on an afternoon hike as they do for dessert.

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  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs or dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Makes about 24 bars

  1. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan, or grease it well with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients, beating just enough between additions to incorporate the flour into the dough.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips, oats, cranberries, figs or dates and walnuts.  
  7. Spread the dough in the prepared pan. Bake until the bars become light golden on top and the sides just start to pull away from the pan, 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool; cool completely before cutting. Cookies can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for several days, or frozen for 3 months.

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