Lunchbreak: Date Bars

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Mary DiSomma

https://www.marydisomma.com/

@BlameItOnBiscotti.  (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest)

Her book – A Gift of Cookies: Recipes to Share with Family & Friends – is available now!

Mary is donating 100% of the proceeds to Children charities – All 100% of proceeds are going  to support 2 charities Hephzibah and Oak park River Forest Infant Welfare Clinic for kids.

To order the book:  https://www.marydisomma.com/shop

Recipe:

Date Bars

From Mary DiSomma‘s Cookbook: A Gift of Cookies – Page 37

Makes 16 bars

Crust:

1½ cups rolled oats

1½ cups sifted pastry flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark) or 1 cup coconut or date sugar, divided

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

Filling:

¾ pound pitted dates, diced

1 cup water 1⁄3 cup brown sugar or 1/2 cup coconut or date sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice or almond extract

Garnish:

Confectioners’ sugar or powdered coconut milk

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the pan. Cut two pieces of parchment paper in 9- by 14-inch pieces. Line a 9- by 9-inch sheet pan with the parchment paper in a crisscross manner. The paper should go over the sides of the pan. This will help remove the bars once they are baked.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, pastry flour, salt, 2⁄3 cup brown sugar, baking soda, coconut, and cinnamon, if using. Add the softened butter and mix until crumbly.

3. In a small, heavy-gauge saucepot, combine dates, water, and remaining 1⁄3 cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice or almond extract. Remove from heat.

4. Place half of the dough into prepared pan. Gently press the dough to cover the pan. Bake the oat crust for 5 to 7 minutes. Spread filling over base. Scatter the remaining oat dough over the filling. Gently pat the crumbs into the filling. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until top is lightly toasted. Cool completely. Using the parchment paper, gently lift the baked cookies from the pan. Cut into squares.

5. When ready to serve, dust with confectioners’ sugar or powdered coconut milk. These cookies can be served in paper muffin liners.

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