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Fruit and Nut Bars Recipe

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have ready an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan that has been lined across the bottom and up the two opposite sides with foil. 

In a large bowl, combine the chopped nuts with the dried fruits and chocolate chips. Then add the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar and stir until all the fruit and nuts are completely coated with the flour mixture. Make sure to separate any clumps of dried fruits.

In a separate bowl, beat (with a wire whisk or hand mixer) the egg and vanilla until light colored and thick (this will take several minutes). Add the egg mixture to the fruit and nut mixture and mix until all the fruit and nut pieces are completely coated with the batter. Evenly spread into your prepared pan, pressing to compact the batter.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the batter is golden brown and is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Then lift the bars from the pan using the edges of the foil. Use a sharp knife to cut into squares or bars.

Can be stored for about 10 days at room temperature or longer if refrigerated.

Makes 18 - 2.5 inch (6.25 cm) rectangular bars

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Fruit and Nut Bars:

1 1/2 cups (175 grams) chopped nuts (you can use pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, or almonds or a combination thereof)

1/2 cup (70 grams) dried cherries, cranberries, raisins and/or currants

1 cup (130 grams) dates, figs, and/or prunes (pits removed and cut into chunks)

1/2 cup (70 grams) dried apricots, mango, and/or papaya, cut into bite size pieces

1/3 cup (55 grams) mini chocolate chips or chunks

1/3 cup (45 grams) all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1/3 cup (65 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract