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Marjorie Johnson brings her honey fruit bars to the KARE Barn

It's Marjorie Johnson's 99th birthday month, but she's showing no signs of slowing down.

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - At 99 years old, Marjorie Johnson says her years keep getting busier and busier.

At the Anoka County Fair this year, she got 52 ribbons. Twenty-six of them were blue, and three were the top sweepstakes honor!

But for the first time in 40 years this year, she did not win a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair. She did receive the second place red ribbon for her honey fruit bar recipe.

"Well I'll just go back to the drawing board next year," she said with a laugh.

She brought those delicious honey fruit bars to the KARE Barn. They're blue ribbon-worthy in our book!

Here's the recipe:

Honey Fruit Bars


1 8 oz package of dates, chopped

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated orange rind

Cook over medium heat stirring often till mixture is thick

Remove from heat and add the walnuts, vanilla and orange rind.

Cool mixture. While mixture is cooling stir up the crust.

Oatmeal crust:

1/2 cup room temperature butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup rolled oats

Cream butter and sugar together well. Sift flour with the baking soda and salt and stir into mixture. Stir in oats. Combine well. Reserve 1 cup of crust mixture for the top. Put the remaining mixture in a greased 8" square pan. I used an air bake pan. Pat evenly and well over the bottom of the pan to form a crust.

Place cooled filling over the crust evenly. To the reserved 1 cup of butter oatmeal mixture add 2 tablespoons of flake coconut. Sprinkle evenly over the date mixture and pat in lightly. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cut into bars.

If you cut 6 rows in both directions and make 1" cuts you will get 36 bars.

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