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Cherry Pecan Bars

1 pkg. (14 ounces) caramels

1/2 cup cream

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup dried cherries

1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Extra pecans for garnish

 

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Grease 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.

 

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the caramels with the cream, stirring frequently until smooth.  Set aside.

 

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in melted butter.  Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove mixture from the oven and sprinkle the crust with pecans, dried cherries and 1 cup chocolate chips.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the caramel mixture.  Drizzle the remaining caramel mixture over ingredients in the pan.  Crumble the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top and pat down lightly.

 

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden.  Remove from oven and cool before cutting into bars.

 

Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.  Drizzle cookies with reserved caramel mixture and melted chocolate chips.  Sprinkle with extra pecans, if desired.

 

Recipe from:  Old newspaper clipping...not sure who gave it to me...found it stuck in one of my cookbooks.  Made for the first time on 11-14-11.  Love!