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Cherry Oatmeal Bars


32 bar cookies


3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups oats, old-fashioned or quick cooking
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 (21 ounce) can cherry filling
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix on low speed until crumbly. Spread two-thirds of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13" x 9" baking pan. Press down to make a firm layer. Set aside.

Using an electric blender or food processor, puree cherry filling until smooth. Pour pureed cherry filling into a medium saucepan. Combine sugar and cornstarch with cherry filling. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until mixture is thick and bubbly. Stir in almond extract. Pour cherry mixture over oat layer, spreading evenly. Top with remaining oat mixture.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on wire rack and cool completed in pan. After cool, cut into 32 bars.

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