Cookies Desserts

date bars

dates never had it so good ::::


My mother-in-law gave me five pounds of dried Medjool dates for Christmas. “Here,” she said, ” I know you can find something to do with these.” And that I did.
Although there are numerous things one can do with dates, my go-to recipe is date bars. I remember them well as a child, my mother often baking them. The gooey, sticky center wrapped in crumby, buttery oatmeal still reminds me of childhood.

Cooking the dates and the orange juice will fill your kitchen with a warm, orangey aroma. I’ve been tempted to eat the filling itself and forgo the body of the bar. Then I shake it off and realize that I cannot resist a cookie or bar made with oatmeal.

Oatmeal can be dressed with sugar and butter in a myriad of ways and this is one of the most satisfying for me. What could be better with a cup of hot tea on a rainy day?
So, Mother-in-law, I have almost completed your task. One more pound of dried dates to go — and I’m still not tired of them.
date bars
Recipe type: dessert
  • Filling: 3 cups cut-up and pitted dried dates (1 pound) (I roughly chopped mine.)
  • 1½ cups unsweetened orange juice
  • Crust and topping: ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats (these are my preference but quick-cooking oats work well too)
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  1. Prepare the date filling: Mix the dates and orange juice in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally to thicken. This may take as short as 10 minutes or as long as 30 minutes. It depends on how you chop your dates. My rough chop took around 30 minutes to soften and thicken. My filling had the consistency of thick, chunky applesauce. Cool slightly before using. This step can also be done a day in advance.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  3. Cream butter, shortening, and sugar together. Mix in flour, salt, baking soda, and oats. Press half of the mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Spread with filling. Sprinkle filling with cinnamon. Top with remaining crumble mixture, evenly distributing over filling.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until light brown. While warm, cut into bars. Makes 36 bars. I often eat these for breakfast. If serving for dessert, cinnamon ice cream is dreamy.


  • Amber March 17, 2011 Reply

    Why did you discover this passion AFTER you moved away???? Everything looks SO yummy. I would love to help sample!
    Awesome blog! I am enjoying it.

  • Story March 17, 2011 Reply

    Visit us! 🙂

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