You must try this delicious date bar recipe for a healthy change of pace dessert. Probably a fruit you have never thought of as a decadent dessert, but dates are quite a unique and tasteful treat.
The date is a unique fruit. Rarely do you get a bad one and their taste is very addictive.
Dates are high in fiber and a source of calcium, potassium and iron. They are virtually fat and cholesterol free. What could be a better fruit to make a great dessert out of.
Dates have been around for years. They have been a staple of the Middle East and parts of South Asia for thousands of years.
They are believed to have originated around the Persian Gulf and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to Prehistoric Egypt.
There is archeaological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia as far back as 6000BC.
Dates were not introduced to Mexico and California until 1765 with the Spaniard migration.
The main producers of dates are Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
A date palm can live up to 100 years. They can grow to 80 feet high.
When I was young, I simply adored dates. But, at that time they were not an everyday fruit in our area and were not sold in stores. If you wanted to buy them you had to travel to fruit orchard store that sold all kinds of fresh and dried fruits. The only one we had around was about 40 miles away. So my experience with my favorite fruit was far and few between. However, as soon as I got my license and was allowed to drive out of the city, I trekked off to Hadley’s where they had the best dates in the world.
I always wanted to bake something with the dates. But, I never could find a recipe of an sort to accommodate my dates. Finally, one day, I found this date bar recipe in a magazine. I clipped it out and have been enjoying it ever since.
Date Bar Recipe
- 1 8oz package of chopped dates
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- Combine dates and water in saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Set aside.
- Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, mix together well. Stir in butter. Spread 2 cups of mixture in bottom of 9-inch square baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Press mixture firmly into baking dish. Spread with date filling. Combine walnuts with remaining oat mixture. Sprinkle over filling and pat firmly onto filling. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on rack. Cut into 24 squares.