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Preheat overn to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking pan. Filling: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine dates, raisins, and water; simmer 10 minutes, or until fruit is very soft. Drain fruit (save poaching liquid). In a blender or food processor, puree fruit and honey, adding reserved liquid as needed to achieve a spreadable consistency. Set aside. Crust: In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt if desired. IN another bowl, combine honey, oil, applesauce and vanilla, then add to dry ingredients. Stir until well blended. Divide dough into two parts. Press half of dough into prepared baking pan to form a crust. With a spatula, spread fruit filling over crust, making sure to spread to corners of the pan. Sprinkle remaining dough over the filling, again making sure to get to the corners of the pan. Gently pat the topping smooth. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely, then cut into 1 1/2 by 3-inch bars. Makes 18 bars. HELPFUL HINT: Store bars in a tightly lidded container to keep them from getting soggy. They also freeze well. SOURCE: Vegetarian Times Mag, Dec 92 Mary Carroll, author The No Cholestrol (No Kidding) Cookbook
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