Best Date Bars Ever are two layers of a delectable oatmeal crust that are filled with a sweet date mixture then baked to vanilla/almond scented treat.
Best Date Bars Ever came to me while I was wanting to create a type of Fig Newton cookie. Since Ed and I are date crazy I decided to go with dates instead of figs and also because they have so much natural sweetness. I knew they would be easy to work with – so the process began.
I keep tackling recipes that I would have thought impossible for me o make – just a few years ago. It is so exciting when I get all done and the recipe works. I want to tell everybody about it. Especially a pastry type baked recipe like Best Date Bars Ever.
Anyway, I have to calm down and tell you all about the bars. There are 2 layers of a delectable oatmeal crust that are filled with a sweet date mixture and baked to a vanilla/almond scented treat. Please make them. You will love them. I guarantee.
The Best Date Bars Ever
The Best Date Bars Ever are three layers of heaven.
- Make the date filling first because it needs to cool.
- 3/4 cup dairy-free butter , softened
- 1 cup brown sugar , packed
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Put the dates in a Food Processor, and chop to fine pieces.
In a medium sized saucepan add chopped dates, water and sugar.
- Stir and cook over medium high heat and then turn down and cook until the mixture is thickened.
- Add the vanilla extract, almond extract and finely ground almonds.
- See it's thickness in the photo below. It is very very moist.
- Spoon into a bowl and let cool down because you will be pressing this out, with your fingers, onto the bottom layer of the crust.
- Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking pan - set aside.
- Cream the butter and brown sugar with a Hand Mixer, until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix.
- Add the oats and mix well.
- It will be a crumbly mixture but it will press together.
- Sprinkle half the dough into the prepared baking pan.
- Press down with your fingers to an even layer all across the pan bottom.
- Now take the date mixture and dab teaspoons full here and there across the bottom layer in the pan. It will be easier to spread this way.
- With your fingers - gently press out the filling for a solid layer across the complete bottom of the crust.
- Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the filling layer.
Make sure it is even. Then press the top crust with your hand to make a solid layer. I use my fingers and the palm of my hand. It doesn't take much pressure.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Cut into squares while it is still warm.
- Cut to make 4 squares across and 6 squares down and that will be 24 bars.
A freezer bag or rigid sided container would both work well.
They defrost quickly so it really doesn't take any planning. Just put them on a plate for an hour or two and enjoy.