Prune Hermit Bars

This is an A+ lunchbox cookie.  When my children were in grade school, I tried to keep some kind of bar cookie made up, wrapped, and in the freezer.  Then I just grabbed one and stuck it in their lunch boxes in the mornings.  This was one they liked.  If you freeze them, omit the icing.

Prune Hermit Bars

2 cups flour                                                        1/2 cup butter

2 teaspoons baking powder                            1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon                                       2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon cloves                                          1/2 cup molasses

1/4 teaspoon baking soda                               1 cup chopped prunes

1/4 teaspoon salt                                              1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans.)

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Beat in the eggs, then the molasses until well blended.  Stir in the flour mixture, a little at a time.  Next stir in the prunes and chopped nuts until well mixed.

Scrape into a buttered 13×9-inch pan.  Bake in a 350F oven 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a rack.  When cooled, spread with frosting, if desired.  Cut into bars.  If freezing, wrap each bar in waxed paper and place in a large freezer bag

Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons milk

4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator when you start mixing the bar ingredients to allow it to soften to room temperature.  Beat the sugar, milk and lemon peel into the cream cheese and spread the frosting on the cooked, cooled batter before cutting into bars.

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