Oatmeal Fruit Bars

Ingredients

3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2  cup granulated sugar

One  8-ounce container plain low-fat yogurt

2  egg whites, lightly beaten

2  Tbsp. vegetable oil

2  Tbsp. milk

2  tsp. vanilla

1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour

1  tsp. baking soda

1  tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2  tsp. salt (optional)

3  cups oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

1  cup diced dried mixed fruit, raisins, or dried cranberries

Preparation

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine sugars, yogurt, egg whites, oil, milk, and vanilla; mix well. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. Add to yogurt mixture; mix well. Stir in oats and fruit.

Spread dough onto bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan.

Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until light golden brown. Let bars cool for 10-15 minutes before topping with chocolate (if using).

Totally optional but devilishly good topping:

6 ounces dark chocolate

2 Tbl. unsalted butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Place coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in a microwave-safe container and microwave at MEDIUM (50 percent power) for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the chocolate turns shiny. Remove the container from the microwave and stir the chocolate until completely melted.Spread melted chocolate over the cooled oatmeal bars. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

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