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Fruit bars

Spicy fruit bars with molasses, apples and cloves.

These are really rich, but delicious. I did not have any prunes, so I used Craisins instead. But they still turned out really good.

Ingredients

1 cup pared chopped apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup prunes (I used Craisins)
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter
2 cups flour (I used gluten-free with 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a saucepan, combine apple, raisins, prunes (Craisins), molasses, orange juice and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick. Cool. Combine remaining ingredients except nuts in a large mixing bowl. Mix at low speed until well-blended. Stir in walnut and fruit mixture. Pour into a well-greased 13-by-9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and then frost and cut into bars.

Orange Frosting

Combine 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon grated orange rind, 2 tablespoons light cream and 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed until well-blended. If necessary, thin with a few more drops of cream.

Craisins

Jar of Craisins

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