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Date Bars with a hint of cinnamon and plenty of wholesome oats!
Soft and chewy, sweet and delicious – enjoy our favorite Date Bar Recipe!
This post is about cookie date bars … not finding dates in bars. I thought it’d be important to get that straight, right up front. Sorry if you’re looking for something more than a recipe 🙂 I’ve been out of the single life for a long… long time. I got nothing (hehe)
Personally I love a good date whether it’s a night out with my husband or a date of the medjool variety. Both are naturally sweet – OK, enough with the lame date jokes!
I still remember however, that most guys like a good home baked goodie just like mom used to make. And, as you may know, there’s something pretty amazing about a man that can cook and bake. So, if you are looking to impress that someone special whether guy or girl, perhaps these will do the trick.
You’ve probably heard of I Want to Marry You Cookies. We can’t promise these Date Bars will get you down the aisle, but you might at least have some fun!
We had out of town company recently so I wanted to make something easy and sweet to have on hand. I think these were just the right match.com. Sorry that’s the last one! Seriously though, I’ve been making Date Bars since I was a young baker. This recipe, adapted from Taste of Home, is one of my favorites.
Ingredients you’ll need to make Date Bars:
For the filling:
- pitted dates – we use Medjool dates for this recipe which are easily found in your local grocery store.
- granulated sugar
For the crust:
- all-purpose flour
- brown sugar
- ground cinnamon
- baking soda
- unsalted butter
- quick cooking oats
We’re pretty crazy about soft Medjool dates. They’re loaded with fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals and are naturally sweet making them great for snacking. Dates are actually a fresh fruit, not dried like raisins. Pack some in your lunch for a healthy dessert or enjoy a few for an afternoon snack. These are the best carbs!
There’s so many great recipes that include the versatile date. Pecan Pumpkin Spice Date Rolls are one of our favorite seasonal snacks made with only three ingredients. To elevate your everyday spinach salad, simply add a few chopped dates. The little bite of sweetness plays beautifully with sliced onions and crunchy almonds.
Date Bars are easy to make!
1. First, make the date filling:
Combine the chopped, pitted dates, sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture is thick and the liquid is absorbed. This takes about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool while preparing the crust.
2. Next, prepare the crust:
The crust does double duty as the bottom layer, as well as the crumbly top. You can either make the crust by hand, or in a food processor.
- In a food processor combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Pour the flour mixture into a large bowl and add the oats. Blend until combined.
- To make the crust by hand, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until blended. Add the oats and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
3. Finally, assemble and bake:
Date Bars travel well and freeze beautifully.
To store, layer Date Bars between wax paper and seal in an airtight container. They’ll keep well at room temperature for 3 or 4 days, or refrigerated for 5 or 6.
Cut the date bars before freezing so you can remove one or two at a time, as needed. These cookie bars thaw in about an hour at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.
These old-fashioned Date Bars are soft and are best to cut into small squares or bars. They’re just a little bit crumbly, but that’s part of the appeal. It’s all good.
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- 13x9-inch baking pan
For the filling:
- 2 ½ cups pitted dates chopped
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups water
For the crust:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into ½-inch pieces (4 oz or 113g)
- 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
- 1 tablespoon water
To prepare the filling:
- Place the dates, granulated sugar and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To prepare the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Pour the flour mixture into a large bowl and add the oats. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over the mixture then blend until combined. Press half the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Spread the date mixture over the partially baked crust. Sprinkle the remaining oats over the dates and press lightly to compact. Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Cool completely and cut into bars or squares.
Originally published June 2011, updated September 2020