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Makes 32 bars.

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

Put butter and brown sugar in a large mixing well. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes or until well mixed. Combine flour, oats and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; mix on low speed until crumbly.
Spread two-thirds of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Press down to make a firm layer.

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

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before cutting into bars.

Recipe courtesy of the Cherry Marketing Institute
dessert cookies bars



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