Date and almond bars from The Fat Witch

Lynnda Cloutier


dates are often passed over as unexciting or used only for middle eastern dishes. Too bad. Dates have a deep, earthy sweetness that is especially wonderful when paired with citrus. In this recipe, they are simmered with freshly squeezed orange juice until they're fat and fall apart tender. Feel free to substitute pistachios or pecans for the almonds. Measuring chopped dates isn't an exact science. Just get as close as you can.

pinch tips: How to Melt and Soften Butter




1 3/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped dried dates
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, from 1 to 2 oranges
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1 cup +2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter almost at room temperature, cut into pieces, 1 1/2 sticks

Directions Step-By-Step

grease a 9 x 9" baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Preheat the oven to 350°.
To make the filling, bring the dates, orange juice, and sugar to a boil in a medium pan over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for three minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should be thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the almonds and set aside.
To make the batter, measure and then sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, brown sugar and salt using a wooden spoon. Add the butter pieces one at a time and mix well. The dough will be crumbly. Finish mixing with your hands until you get a smooth consistency
press half of the oat mixture evenly into prepared baking pan. Using a spatula, spread the date mixture evenly on top of the oat mixture in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top of the date mixture and press down lightly with a fork. Don't worry if it is slightly uneven.
Bake for 30 minutes until light Brown on top and the edges are browned and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for one hour. Cut just before serving. Makes 12 to 16 bars

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Cookies, Fruit Desserts