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1. In a small saucepan bring water to boiling. Remove from heat. Add dried cherries or cranberries and let stand for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain and set aside.
2. For crust, in a large mixing bowl combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture. Stir the almonds into the reserved crumb mixture; set aside.
3. Press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, for filling, stir together the drained cherries, cherry preserves, and lemon peel. Spread the filling evenly over baked crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until top is golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. In a small saucepan combine the chocolate pieces and shortening; heat over medium-low heat until chocolate is melted. Drizzle melted chocolate mixture over baked bars. Cut into bars. Makes 48 bars.