Thursday, December 15, 2011

Date-walnut bars

Dates are one of those food items I buy every year at Christmas. I like to eat them whole just as a snack. This year I wanted to add them into one of my holiday baked goods or cookies. I found a recipe for date bars and knew that it would be the winner. These bars have a filling of stewed dates and walnuts sandwiched in-between two layers of a buttery oat crust. They are delicious, sweet, and full of holiday goodness. If you like dates, I guarantee you will love these bars.

I modified the recipe, mainly to cut down on the amount of sugar that it uses. Dates are already so sweet, I didn't want to them to be over-powering with sweetness. Even though I cut it down in the below recipe, I think you could still cut it even more (maybe only 1/4 cup in the date mixture or 1/2 cup in the crust). Depending on the size of your bars when you cut them, you will get about 20 bars. 

Date-walnut bars
filling:
1 lb dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 cup water
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 

crust:
1-3/4 cup oats
1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flower
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 

Butter a 9"x13" baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the dates, water, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often. Let the mixture come to a boil and then continue to boil until soft and reduced, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and butter. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, whisk together the crust ingredients (oats through nutmeg) in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter until well-combined. Add half of the crust mixture into the baking dish. Press it down firmly until the crust layer is evenly spread.

Add the date layer and spread it evenly on the crust. Then place the remaining crust mixture on top of the dates. Press firmly again until the crust is pretty firm and evenly spread.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until the bottom crust is turning golden and before the date mixture begins to boil out of the crust. Let cool (if you can wait; I couldn't!) and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.


What was I cooking one year ago?: roasted buttercup squash and apple soup

7 comments:

  1. I love dates and date bars too! I always buy the coconut covered ones with an almond in the middle. They're like candy. Your bars look scrumptious!

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  2. I never remember to include dates in my baking! Thanks for the recipe suggestion! Dates remind me of my grandma for some reason... kinda old fashioned.

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  3. I adore dates! These bars look amazing. I would love to sandwich two of them with cream cheese.YUM!

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  4. Date bars are delicious and it's been way too long since I've made them! Love the addition of walnuts, I'll have to try that!

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  5. I love dates, especially Medjool dates! These bars sound delish!

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  6. oh these look fabulous! dates and walnuts go so well together!

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