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Date Bars

 

I am so excited to finally have the opportunity to share this recipe for Date Bars with you, and let me tell ya why. I’ll just say…many moons ago, when I was around 12 years old, my mother use to buy a date bar mix in a box by Betty Crocker.  For one thing, my mother made almost everything homemade, so it was a treat in itself if I got to pick out a box mix of anything at the grocery store and bring it home.  I must have been on my best behavior for once when my mother gave in to my pleading for that little Betty Crocker box.  I can still smell the aroma of those hot straight from the oven Date Bars.  I couldn’t get enough of those warm crumbly bars with that thick sweet date filling but my dad couldn’t either, so I had to hurry up and pour myself a tall glass of milk and dive right in.  

A few years later, Betty Crocker stopped making their Date Bar Mix and I was one unhappy person.  I often had a hankering for those delectable little bars and thought it just not right that Betty Crocker could do such a thing.

In 1998, my husband gave me a 1998 Betty Crocker Cookie Book and I immediately started thumbing through the pages, and yes there it was on page 72, right before my eyes, the recipe was called “The Ultimate Date Bars”.  I got so excited that I drove to the grocery store and bought two bags of diced dates and came home and went right to the kitchen.  An hour or so later, that familiar sweet aroma filled my kitchen and I felt like I was 12 years old again.  

So now it’s my pleasure to share this divine recipe with you my friends.  I’ll just call them Date Bars, but their still Betty Crocker’s recipe.     

Here’s how I made these addictive…good-for-you bars…

Let me take a minute to tell you about what kind of dates to use for this recipe.  Chopped dates in a bag, such as Sun Maid are what I normally use…

However, I had recently purchased this bag of whole organic dates that I needed to use…

So when I made the recipe for this post, I chopped the whole dates into small pieces…

Whether you use the already chopped or chop your own, you’ll follow the same step for processing them…

So once I chopped the dates, here’s what I did…

I added the dates, sugar and water to a large saucepan over medium low heat…

And cooked them, while stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes until they were very tender and I removed them from the heat…

Next I added some softened real butter and some brown sugar to a large mixing bowl…

And mixed the sugar and butter together until light and creamy and set the mixture aside…

Then I added some quick oats, baking soda, salt and flour to a medium mixing bowl…

And whisked them together with a fork…

I added the oat-flour mixture to the brown sugar-butter mixture…

And mixed everything together until it became a crumbly mixture…

I patted half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ cake pan…

Then I spread the cooked date filling over the bottom crust…

And lastly, I crumbled the remaining mixture over the top of the filling, gently patting it into the filling…

I baked them until they were a light golden brown on top and sliced them into bars while they were still warm…

Let me tell ya, If you like dates, you’ll love these delicious date bars and if you’ve never tasted a date, you don’t know what you’ve been missing.  I couldn’t wait to get a glass of milk and dive into these heavenly bars while they were still warm.  Absolutely divine!! 

Make and enjoy!

Cindy

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Date Bars


  • Author: Cindy Gibbs @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: 32

Description

Sweet & thick date filling with a soft & crumbly oatmeal topping.


Ingredients

For the Crust and Crumb Topping

  • 2 sticks real butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups quick or old fashioned oats, (I use quick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Date Filling

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) chopped pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For the Crust and Crumb Topping

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon until light and creamy. Set aside.

For the Date Filling

  1. Add the dates, sugar and water to a two quart pan. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened.
  2. Using your hands or a spatula, press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan. Spread the date filling over the crumb mixture. Crumble the remaining crumb topping over the filling and lightly pat the topping into the filling with your hand.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the date bars are light golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes. Cut into bars while warm.
  4. Store in an airtight container. Bars will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • For 32 bars, cut bars into 8 rows by 4 rows. Bars can be cut bigger if desired.

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