Date Bar Recipe

Date Bar RecipeDate Bar Recipe Photo

This Date Bar Recipe was a childhood favorite, although the whole mix came in a box back then. I’ve attempted to recreate the recipe from scratch using Shield’s Date Crystals after visiting their gardens and shop recently for a story here on EncinoMom.com. In addition to inventing Date Crystals, Mr. Shields is credited with introducing the Blonde date to the world. The taste is very smooth and almost caramely and the color is much lighter than other dates. It’s my new favorite! I don’t have a former favorite. I never knew they were so many varieties of dried dates. Learning that 90% of dates for the United States come from the Coachella Valley prompted my research and teased out the memory of this tasty treat.

Easy to prepare, this recipe yields approximately 12 square bars – not nearly enough for a party, but perfect for an after school snack.

Date Filing Mixture

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups Shield’s Date Crystals
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Oat Crust Mixture

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature – I use 1/2 butter and 1/2 coconut oil (the kind without coconut taste)

Prep

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8×8-inch metal baking pan. Add 1 1/2 cups warm water to 1 1/2 cups date crystals in a medium sized bowl. Stir to mix thoroughly and set aside. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in large bowl; stir to blend. Add butter/coconut oil blend. Using fingertips, rub in until moist clumps form. Press half of oat mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread date mixture on top, leaving about 3/8 of an inch of the oat mixture uncovered at the edges. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture; press gently. Bake until brown at the edges, golden brown and set in center (toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean), about 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars and serve.

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Assemble ingredients.

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Select baking dish.

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Measure ingredients. Preheat oven to 350. Combine butter and coconut oil (room temp).

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Rub waxed paper over butter/coconut oil mixture and use to grease baking dish.

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Add water to date crystals. Heat water in a tea kettle to steaming, not boiling temp.

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Stir and set aside. You can use diced, pitted, dried dates if you don’t have date crystals.

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Pure vanilla gets added after date filling mixture cools.

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Assemble oats and other dry ingredients for crust mixture.

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Salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Use a little extra cinnamon, if desired.

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I like to use a long tined fork for mixing.

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Works well for adding the butter mixture without getting butter fingers. Wink.

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This step is miserable if you forget to let butter warm to room temperature.

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Pour 1/2 of the mixture into your prepared pan. Don’t worry, the mixture will be lumpy.

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Pat gently to cover the bottom of your dish with the oat mixture.

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Add vanilla to cooled date filing mix, stir and pour over crust.

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Spread filing so that it goes almost  to the edge, nearly covering the crust, but not quite.

Press 1/2 of dry mixture into greased pan

Top with the rest of the oat mixture. Tamp down lightly.

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Place in the center of the preheated oven.

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Test for doneness. Chopstick, toothpick, knife – should come out clean.

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Remove from oven. Cool, slice into bars and serve.

 

Best price on Date Crystals is available directly from Shield’s. This is not an affiliate link.

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Comments

Date Bar Recipe — 6 Comments

    • Thanks, John!

      I think you will like them. It’s somewhat similar to a fig newton, but dates are naturally sweeter and the oatmeal in the crusts is completely different than the processed cake like part of the cookie.

      Enjoy,
      Lisa

  1. wow I haven’t had date bars in ages. It is interesting to learn this about dates, also this is the first time I’ve heard of Date Crystals – I’d love to try this!
    • Hi Rosie,

      I just added some date crystals to vanilla yogurt, oats, raisins, apple and pomegranate seeds for a delicious, nutritious breakfast. Surprisingly, they make a nice addition to meatballs, adding a little sweet moisture retention. I’d love to hear how you are inspired to use them, too!

      Cheers,
      Lisa

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