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In a health conscious society, using dried fruits in cookie bars, muffins and quick breads is a popular and tasty way to increase the total amount of fruit that is included in a daily diet.
As you begin, take time to chop the dried fruits into bite size pieces. It is often easier to use kitchen shears when cutting up dried fruit. Spray the kitchen shear blades with a non-stick cooking spray, this will make the task much easier.
Once the dried fruit is cut and the other ingredients have been gathered into your workspace, make sure that you have the necessary baking tools ready to go. You will need one large bowl, one medium bowl, an electric mixer, a scraper and a wooden spoon. You will also need a 13 X 9 inch pan that is prepared with no-stick spray.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
The list of ingredients for the Mixed Dried Fruit Bars includes:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3-cup whole-wheat flour
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4-teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup vanilla nonfat yogurt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup golden raisins
2 ounces dried cherries, chopped
2 ounces dried peaches or apricots, chopped
2 pounces pitted prunes, chopped
Using the large bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
In the medium bowl, using the electric mixer, combine the brown sugar, yogurt, oil and egg until well blended. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the apples, oats, raising, cherries peaches or apricots and prunes. Once you have blended all of these ingredients, combine with the dry ingredients and continue to stir. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking to make sure that the top is browned and the cookies are firm to the touch. Allow cookies to cool, then careful cut into bars and transfer to a wire cookie rack for further cooling.