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Fruit and Chocolate Squares

Heat oven to 325F. 

1      Cup   Boiling Hot Water
1      Cup   Dried cranberries (5oz)
1      Cup   Dried tart cherries (5oz)
1      Cup   Golden raisins (5oz)
2 ½   Cups All purpose flour
1 ½   Tsp   Baking soda
1      Tsp   Salt
¾     Tsp   Cinnamon
1      Cup   Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2      Cups Sugar
3      Large eggs
1 ½   Tsp   Vanilla
1      Cup   Almond slivers
8      Oz    Chocolate chips

Butter and flour 17 x 12 inch baking pan, knocking out excess flour.  Pour boiling hot water over dried fruit in a small bowl and soak 20 minutes, then drain well in a sieve.  Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in another bowl.  Beat together melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy, about 1 minute.  Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Mix in dried fruit, almonds and chocolate.  Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool completely in pan on a rack.  Run a thin knife around edges of pan to loosen, then cut into roughly 3-inch squares.   Yield:  24 squares