In Duff Bakes by Duff Goldman and Sara Gonzales, Sara talks about eating date bars as a child. I don't know if it was because I grew up on the opposite coast or what, but I never remember having these as a child.
The ingredient list isn't overly long and all of the items are thinks I keep on hand. I have to confess I did not search for Medjool Dates, but simply used what I could find at the local grocery store. I'm sharing the recipe in the order I did the work.
Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 9 x 13 pan. Cut strips of parchment paper about 1 inch wider than the sides of your pan. Line them in the pan and grease it all. (Just keeps the date filling from sticking to the side of the pans.)
3 cups pitted chopped dates
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
Place the dates, honey, vanilla, brown sugar, and 3/4 cup of room temp water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until thickened. This takes about 10 minutes. Let this cool for 10 minutes and while it is cooling make your crust.
2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of all purpose flour
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the salt. Gradually add the flour, mixing it as you go. This will be a crumbly mixture. Use your hands to press half of it into the pan and set the other half aside.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes and let it cool just a bit.
Mix the oats in the leftover crust.
Spread the date filling over the bottom crust. Top with the oat topping...about 1/2 inch thick. (The recipe says you won't need it all possibly, but I did.)
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool. Cut into squares.
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