Caramel Date Bars with Cranberries and Walnuts

1 cup cranberries
2 tablespoons PLUS 1/2 cup sugar, divided
2-1/3 cups flour, divided
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1-1/2 cups chopped dates
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 cup caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350 F. In small bowl, combine cranberries and 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside. In medium bowl stir together 2 cups flour, oats, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda. Stir in melted butter, blend well. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumbs in bottom of 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle dates, walnuts and cranberry mixture evenly over crust. Stir together caramel topping and remaining 1/3 cup flour; drizzle over fruits and nuts. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Return to oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Note: Posted by "Tamara/SD" to the now-defunct Holiday Cookie Club at Epicurious.com.

Servings: 54

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