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Date and nut ginger bars

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2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. (each) ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs
2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
2 cups pitted dates, finely chopped
2 cups chopped, toasted and skinned hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans, optional


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into small bowl, stir in cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Beat butter, eggs and sugar in medium bowl until light and fluffy.

Stir flour mixture, dates and nuts into egg mixture. Spread batter in greased and floured 15 1/2 x 11 x 1-inch jellyroll pan.

Bake until wooden pick inserted in center is withdrawn clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack to room temperature. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Makes about 3 dozen 2-inch bars

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