Classic Date Bars

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  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8x8-inch metal baking pan. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to simmer in medium saucepan. Add dates; simmer until very soft and thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.

  • Combine flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in large bowl; stir to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until moist clumps form. Press half of oat mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread date mixture over. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture; press gently to adhere. Bake until brown at edges and golden brown and set in center, about 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars and serve.

Recipe by Susan Richardson,Reviews SectionI love these cookies! They are impossibly quick and easy to whip up but taste like something far more fancy and complex. I consider them *somewhat* healthy and eat them as an afternoon snack during these weird quarantine work-from-home days.AnonymousSan Francisco, CA05/21/20

Classic Date Bars

Last updated on June 3, 2021 By Anna 11 Comments This post may contain affiliate links.

I’ve never been very fond of dates, but I recently bought a pint of the new Haagen Dazs “Sticky Toffee Pudding” flavor ice cream and loved it. I had no idea upon trying the ice cream that sticky toffee pudding was a dessert made with dates, but thanks to my introduction to sticky toffee pudding via ice cream, I’ve been rethinking my relationship with dates. Maybe I do like them? Just to see where I really stood with dates, I baked a batch of date bars from a recipe off Epicurious.

These are very good date bars. The crust and topping are buttery and delicious and hold together well. The bars have an abundance of date filling, so take that into consideration if you are not a huge date fan or if you are just easing into them.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups sifted pastry flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ pound pitted dates, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine oats, pastry flour, salt, 1 cup brown sugar, and baking soda. Mix in the butter until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch square baking pan.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the dates, water, and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and cook until thickened. Stir in lemon juice, and remove from heat. Spread the filling over the base, and pat the remaining crumb mixture on top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven, or until top is lightly toasted. Cool before cutting into squares.

How This Date Bar Recipe Is Healthier

As someone who cares so much about the nutrition in the food my family eats, I loved this recipe before I’d even baked the first batch.

For one thing, it had just a single tablespoon of butter. That’s it! I didn’t even have to pull out my usual health-ification tricks to slash some of the calories and naughty fats.

And, it featured protein-packed, heart-healthy walnuts, plus the headliner ingredient (a fruit!) … DATES!

The only thing I tweaked from the original recipe’s ingredients was using white whole wheat flour instead of “regular” all-purpose flour.

As I’ve mentioned many times before (like in my recipe for Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread), white whole wheat flour is more nutritious than all-purpose flour. In fact, it’s nutritionally equal to standard (browner) whole wheat flour. But white whole wheat flour looks and tastes more like the all-purpose flour my mom and grandma would’ve been baking with in their family farmhouse two generations ago.

So, I get the same flavor but with a big nutrition boost! A little modern twist to bring this old-fashioned recipe up to today’s nutritional standards. An easy swap you’ll never even notice or taste.

Mom's Date Nut Bars

Butter a 10-inch square pan and dust with flour or line the pan with aluminum foil and butter and flour it. Set aside.

Sift 1/2 cup of the flour with the baking powder and salt into a bowl.

In another bowl beat the eggs until they are foamy. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla beating until well blended. Fold in the flour mixture.

In a small bowl toss the dates and nuts with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of the four. This method will prevent the dates and nuts from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking.

Fold the date mixture into the batter.

Spread batter evenly in the pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and firm to the touch. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Cut into squares and sprinkle the tops with confectioner’s sugar.

Note:  These can be made ahead and frozen without the confectioner’s sugar for up to 3 months.

This recipe is featured on show 2215 – Mom’s Cookies / Biscotti della Mamma.

This recipe is from Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito.

Easiest Square Recipe To Make

They do look decadent and difficult to make but let me tell you a little secret, they’re not hard to make at all.

Making this square recipe won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours at a time.

You can whip a batch up in under an hour and they taste better than buying them from the bakery.

Your friends won’t believe that you made them because they are rich and perfect with a hot cup of tea.

Although this might not be a healthy date squares recipe it’s a recipe anyone would appreciate as a treat.

23 Classic Drinks to Order at a Bar

Some things are classic for a reason. Don't get us wrong, we love and inventive, over the top cocktail as much as anyone, but the timeless flavors of cocktails like the margarita, the Manhattan, and the martini are the cocktail version of comfort food, and we can't imagine imbibing without them. Whether you're brushing up on your home mixology menu or looking for a go-to order for your next cocktail hour, these classics will never steer you wrong.

There may be no better test of a bartender's mettle than ordering an Old Fashioned. The recipe is simple:

- 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 sugar cube or 1 tsp sugar
- Orange twist garnish

Put sugar in glass. Cover it with dashes of bitters. Add whiskey and stir until sugar dissolves. Add ice, stir again, and serve. If the barman starts shaking the ingredients or muddling fruit, have your next round at another bar.

Cloyingly sweet margarita mixes have given this drink a bad name. A well-made version is a fresh mix of lime juice and tequila, with a hint of sweetener:

- 2 oz silver tequila
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz lime juice
- Salt for the rim

Since this recipe includes fresh juice, it should be shaken. Serve over ice in a glass with a salted rim.

The cosmo became almost ubiquitous in the '90s thanks to the TV show Sex and the City, but this spin on the martini remains just as tasty today as when Carrie Bradshaw made it famous.

- 1.5 oz citrus vodka
- 1 oz Cointreau
- .5 oz lime juice
- .25 oz cranberry juice

Build all ingredients in a shaker tine with ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with lime wheel or zest.

A favorite of bartenders all over the world, the Negroni is a simple three-ingredient cocktail:

- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz Campari
- 1 oz sweet vermouth

Stir ingredients with ice.

Popular for good reason, the Moscow Mule is one of the most refreshing things to sip on a hot summer day. Its suggested vessel, a copper mug, also just looks sharp.

- 2 oz vodka
- 4 to 6 oz ginger beer
- .5 oz lime juice

Squeeze lime juice into a Moscow Mule mug. Add two or three ice cubes, pour in the vodka, and fill with cold ginger beer. Stir and serve.

James Bond was wrong&mdashwhether you drink it with gin or vodka, stirred is the way to go when ordering a martini.

- 3 oz gin or vodka
- .5 oz dry vermouth
- Lemon peel or olive

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass. Squeeze oil from lemon peel into the glass or garnish with olive.

Originating in Cuba, this refreshing rum-based sip is filled with mint and lime&mdasha perfect combination for sipping by the pool or beach. If you're craving a little literary cred, the mojito was also said to be a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway.

- 3 mint leaves
- 2 oz white rum
- .75 oz lime juice
- .5 oz simple syrup

Muddle mint into a shaker tin, then add ice and all other ingredients. Shake to chill and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with club soda if desired and garnish with mint.

Perhaps the most refreshing whiskey cocktail, this is an old reliable favorite.

- 2 oz whiskey
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 egg white (optional)

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake (bartenders use this "dry shake" to incorporate the egg white). Add ice and shake again. Strain over ice in a rocks glass.

Created during World War I, the name of this drink was supposedly inspired by the fact that taking a sip of it feels like getting shelled with a French 75mm field gun, a powerful piece of artillery.

- 2 oz gin
- 2 dashes simple syrup
- .5 oz lemon juice
- Champagne

Shake gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a champagne glass. Top with champagne.

Created sometime in the mid-1800s, the Manhattan is one of the booziest classic drink recipes.

- 2 oz rye whiskey
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass or cocktail coupe.

Low on alcohol and high on refreshment, the spritz has been a crowd-pleasing favorite aperitivo for more than two centuries. Though it can be made with any amaro or liqueur as a base, by far the best known version is the classic Aperol Spritz:

-Equal parts Aperol
-Equal parts Cinzano Prosecco
-Splash of Soda

Mix all ingredients in a wine glass with ice and gently stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

The classic recipe calls for gin, but this drink is just as tasty if you substitute vodka instead.

- 2 oz gin or vodka
- .75 oz simple syrup
- .75 oz lime juice

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

If you like a drink with some bite, give this classic New Orleans concoction a try.

- 2 oz rye whiskey
- .5 oz simple syrup
- 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- Absinthe

Rinse a chilled glass with absinthe and discard the absinthe. Stir the other ingredients in a mixing glass, strain into the chilled glass, and garnish.

The first official Pimm's bar popped up at the 1971 Wimbledon tournament, and now more than 80,000 pints of the quintessential British summer cocktail are served to spectators every year. Here's the official recipe courtesy of Pimm's:

- 50 ml (about 1.75 oz) Pimm's No.1
- 150 ml (about 5 oz) lemonade
- Mint, orange, strawberries
- Cucumber to garnish

Pile all the ingredients in a tall glass, mix, and sip.

You might think of a martini when you think of James Bond, but this drink is the true tipple of the iconic spy&mdashthe recipe first appeared in Ian Fleming's 1953 novel Casino Royale in homage to the Bond girl Vesper Lynd. While Bond takes his "shaken, not stirred", most stick to the rule that spirits-only cocktails should be stirred instead.

- 3 oz gin
- 1 oz vodka
- .5 oz Lillet blanc

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. Garnish with a lemon twist.

We'd like to salute Frank Meier, the bartender at the Ritz Paris who in 1925 reportedly served the first mimosa. The recipe just might be the simplest cocktail ever created.

- 2.5 oz champagne
- 2.5 oz orange juice

Combine equal parts of the ingredients in a champagne flute.

Essentially a sour topped with club soda, the Tom Collins is a classic cocktail that's as easy and delicious to whip up at home as it is at your favorite bar. For a truly traditional version, opt for an Old Tom style gin.

- 2 oz Old Tom gin
- 1 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz simple syrup
- Club soda to top

Build all ingredients in a glass with ice and stir gently to combine. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.

In Mexico the paloma is just as popular as the classic margarita, and with a thirst-quenching combination of tequila, lime, and grapefruit soda it's bound to become a summer favorite of yours too.

- 2 oz tequila
- .5 oz lime juice
- Grapefruit soda to top

Add tequila and lime to a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice. Top with grapefruit soda.

This simple mix of brandy, lemon juice, and orange liqueur dates to the 1920s. Once you try one you'll understand why the recipe has survived so long.

- 2 oz VS or VSOP Cognac
- 1 oz Cointreau
- .75 oz lemon juice

Shake ingredients with ice. Strain into a rocks glass or a cocktail class with a sugar-coated rim.

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is worth ordering even when you're not at Churchill Downs.

- 2 oz bourbon
- 8-10 mint leaves
- .25 oz simple syrup

Muddle the mint leaves and simple syrup in a mint julep cup. Add bourbon and fill with with crushed ice. Stir until the cup is frosted. Fill with more crushed ice. Serve with a straw and a mint sprig garnish.

Forget the sweet frozen version made with a blender. A classic daiquiri is one of the most well-balanced cocktails around.

- 2 oz light rum
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 1 oz lime juice

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wheel.

The Dark 'n Stormy was created on Bermuda in the late 1800s when British sailors, already rum fans, took to brewing ginger beer and combined their two favorites into one tasty concoction. Traditionally the cocktail is made exclusively with Bermuda-native Gosling&rsquos Black Seal Rum.

- 1.5 oz Gosling&rsquos Black Seal Rum
- Ginger beer to top

Fill a highball glass with ice and add rum and ginger beer. Garnish with lime.

Not quite a Manhattan and not quite a Martini, the Martinez uses "Old Tom," a slightly sweeter style of gin that debuted in the mid-1800s. For the authentic taste, ask for it by name.

- 1.5 oz Old Tom gin
- 1.5 oz sweet vermouth
- .25 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
- 2 dashes Angostura or orange bitters

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass or cocktail coupe.

Assembling the bars:

Make the crust:

The crust is made by crushing the biscuits into a fine powder. You can use a food processor, or do what I did, and place the biscuits in a large ziploc bag. I then used a wooden rolling pin to whack the bag, and roll over it until I had fine crumbs.

Make sure the crumbs are really fine and powdery. Since there isn’t a lot of butter in the recipe, this will make it easier for them to bind with the melted butter.

Add cinnamon if using, mix well, and press the crust into a prepared pan.

This recipe is perfect for an 8࡮ inch square pan, but you can double it to make a 9吉 pan.

Top the crust:

Scatter on the crust the dates then the walnuts. Drizzle the condensed milk- I do this in a zig zag fashion. Add the coconut evenly over the top and the bars are ready to bake!

These chewy, date- and walnut-packed bars are called ‘food for the gods’ with good reason

Buttery and chewy, rich and decadent is how I describe this classic Philippine dessert. It’s similar to blondies, but Medjool dates and walnuts lend a deep caramel flavor and toasty crunch with a nice hint of salt. These are especially popular during the holidays, wrapped in colorful red, blue, green and gold cellophane, making them a delectable dessert that is opened like a gift. You will find these at parties passed around the table, kids and adults having tucked them away in pockets and saved for later.

Then there’s the name: I’ve asked around and done some research, and can’t find anybody who knows how these came to be known as Food for the Gods. But I have some ideas. First of all, the recipe most likely comes from a Spanish bread called pan de datiles, or date bread. Philippine cuisine was heavily influenced by American, Spanish and Chinese cooks before the dishes were “Filipinized” for use of our native terroir and palate. Dates and walnuts were considered luxurious, and the taste is certainly heavenly, so that could be the connection.

As for making them, you can use a stand mixer, but this recipe is easily done by hand. Medjool dates are soft, moist and yield the most fruit. Chilling them in the freezer before chopping keeps them from sticking to your knife and fingers. Don’t overchop larger pieces help keep the batter moist. Toasting the walnuts brings out a nuttier flavor and makes them crunchier. Find gluten-free flour at most supermarkets, or use unbleached organic all-purpose flour. Coconut sugar is a low-glycemic food and a great substitute for granulated white sugar. Don’t overbake or they won’t be chewy.

Desserts & Drinks

No-Bake Greek Yogurt Tart

“We made this recipe over the weekend and it was fantastic. I needed a low sugar gluten free dessert and this one was perfect. It was easy to make and everyone raved about it. I used individual tart pans so each person got their own adorable delicious tart.” – Jenna

Prep note: This light dessert is a great make-ahead option. Chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

Simple Apple Crisp

Gluten free and easily vegan

“This was absolutely delicious. This was also incredibly easy to make and warmed up really well. I substituted whole wheat flour for the almond meal and thought it turned out great. The walnuts are delicious and added so much!” – Ellen

Prep note: You can assemble this apple crisp earlier in the day. Refrigerate until you’re ready to start eating dinner, and it will be done in time for dessert (if it’s starting off cold, it may need a few extra minutes in the oven).

Blood Orange and Pomegranate Sparkling Sangria

“I made this sangria last night for a girls valentines BUNCO night and it was a huge hit. I doubled the recipe and served in a punch bowl. Finding pomegranate seeds was a little challenging- I don’t know why! Haha but I tracked some down eventually.” – Kate

The New Old Fashioned Cocktail

“I shared this with my husband because I am not a big fan of the brown liquors. I told him that everything I cook from your website and cookbook are always a hit with our family. I’m happy to report that he said this was amazing!! And so much easier because he didn’t need to make simple syrup. Thanks for adding a new cocktail to the lineup.” – Erica

Classic Mulled Wine

“Made this last night to drink by the campfire, we all loved it! And the house smelled like Christmas, can’t wait to make it again, I have a feeling I’ll be drinking mulled wine all winter long. It feels like such a special treat but is so quick and easy”. – Brooke

Prep note: You probably associate mulled wine with the holidays, but it’s so warm and comforting and perfect for frigid weather.

Bee’s Knees Cocktail

“Luckily had all the ingredients needed! So easy & deliciously yummy. I’m not a huge gin fan but I love lemon & honey, this was a great idea! I’ll be a gin fan now…” – Marissa

Manhattan Cocktail

“Excellent and easy! Perfect for a cold winter evening.” – Caroline

Classic French 75 Cocktail

“Light, fresh and perfect. I added rosemary for garnish. Thank you!” – Brittany

Maple New York Sour

“These are SO delicious, everything I love in a glass. They look so sophisticated, yet so simple to make… Thank you!” – Lynsey

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