Apple-Date Bar

1 (16oz) Jar Applesauce
1 package dates (8oz), chopped
1 C All Purpose Flour
1 C Quick-cooking Oats
1/4 C Packed Brown Sugar
1/4 t Salt
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 C Margarine
Powdered Sugar, if desired

Heat applesauce and dates in a 2 quart saucepan until boiling. Lower heat. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick. Cool slightly.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in margarine, using pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Reserve one cup of the mixture for topping. Press the remaining mixture in bottom of pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Carefully spread date mixture over crust. Sprinkle with remaining topping mixture; press lightly. Bake about 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into 2 x 1 1/2 inch squares.