Classic Date Bars

I’ve never been very fond of dates, but I recently bought a pint of the new Haagen Dazs “Sticky Toffee Pudding” flavor ice cream and loved it. I had no idea upon trying the ice cream that sticky toffee pudding was a dessert made with dates, but thanks to my introduction to sticky toffee pudding via ice cream, I’ve been rethinking my relationship with dates. Maybe I do like them? Just to see where I really stood with dates, I baked a batch of date bars from a recipe off Epicurious.

These were very good. The crust and topping were buttery and delicious and held together well (I used a food processor). The date filling proved I’m not a full-fledged date lover. If you are, you will love these.

The only change I made to the original recipe was to sprinkle nuts on top.

Here are the date bars in progress. I used Dole fresh pitted dates.

datebarforblog1.jpg

And here’s the date bar. These hold together well and are very tasty. I think they’d go well with a big scoop of ice cream!

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Comments

  1. Emilie says

    Yes, these do look very good. I think more people need to give dates a chance. I wasn’t sure if I liked them either, but I baked a cake with them in it, and it was delicious.

  2. says

    I’ve been looking at a few sticky toffee pudding recipes. So far, the best one I’ve found is from Food & Wine. I want to make it right away, but I don’t have any 4 ounce ramekins.

    Sticky Toffee Pudding

    SERVES: 6

    TOFFEE SAUCE:
    2 1/2 cups heavy cream
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    1 cup granulated sugar

    CAKE:
    6 ounces pitted dates, preferably Medjool (about 7 dates)
    3/4 cup water
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    Pinch of salt
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

    MAKE THE TOFFEE SAUCE: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups of the cream with the butter, corn syrup and sugar; bring to a boil. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 40 minutes. Carefully whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of cream. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a bowl.
    MAKE THE CAKE: In a small sauce- pan, simmer the dates in the water over moderately low heat until the water is nearly absorbed and the dates are soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer the dates and any liquid to a food processor and puree until very smooth.
    Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter six 1/2-cup ramekins. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then beat in the date puree. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the ramekins and smooth the tops. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean; let cool slightly.
    Using a small serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes level with the rims of the ramekins. Unmold the cakes and invert them onto a wire rack. Slice each cake in half horizontally. Wipe out the ramekins and spoon 1 tablespoon of the toffee sauce into each. Return the bottom layers of the cakes to the ramekins, cut side up. Spoon another tablespoon of the toffee sauce into the ramekins and top with the remaining cake layers. Spoon another tablespoon of the toffee sauce over the cakes and spread evenly. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbling around the edges.
    Let the puddings cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin-bladed knife around the insides of the ramekins; invert each pudding onto a dessert plate. Rewarm the remaining toffee sauce and spoon some around the puddings. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

  3. says

    Date bars are a big seller here in SW ontario. Don’t try to cut up dates in the food processor, I learned from experience!! I blew the top off the proccesor and dates went flying everywhere. LOL

  4. LonghornGal says

    I have had many dates, both good and bad. Right now I am anti-date but given the right circumstances I might go back to loving dates. Dates that involve ice cream or Sticky Toffee Pudding would be especially good.

  5. says

    Randi, believe it or not, I did cut my dates in the food processor. The trick I used was to spray the blade with flour-added cooking spray and before processing, toss the dates in a tablespoon of brown sugar to add some friction/grittiness and prevent stickiness. It actually worked quite well. However, chopping them by hand isn’t really a big deal and if you are not using the food processor, why dirty it up? I happened to be using mine and just felt like experimenting.

    LonghornGal, maybe you should make a date with the Haagen Dazs Sticky Toffee pudding ice cream?

  6. carole says

    Another way to “chop” dates is to spray your kitchen sheers with nonstick spray and snip them.

  7. Kelly says

    I am looking forward to trying these! I’ve been looking for a good date bar recipe ever since Betty Crocker discontinued their Date Bar Mix. Hopefully, these will live up to my expectations! I’m glad I discovered this site! Now I can make Brown Edge Wafers too! ;)

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