I like this date bar recipe of my mom’s better than the bakery’s. I’ve tweaked it to my own taste…
Perfect Date Bar Recipe (Date Squares):
1½ cup flour, all purpose or pastry
1 cup butter (use real butter)
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups coarse oatmeal
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (& a pinch fresh nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon clubhouse rum (grocery store)
Date filling (see later on)
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon (and nutmeg). Rub in butter with tips of fingers. Add sugar, oatmeal, vanilla and rum. Mix well. Spread ½ the crumbs in a greased shallow pan (about 8X8” for big chewy squares! or 8×12 for thinner economical squares) Pat to smooth. Cover with cooled date filling, spreading evenly, then cover with remaining crumbs. Pat to smooth.
Bake @ 375°F for 30-35min. Increase heat slightly and bake a few minutes longer to lightly brown mixture. Cut in squares while hot & allow shortbread to cool in pan.
1/2 lb chopped dates
Grated rind of ½ orange (optional)
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Cook dates, water, orange rind & sugar in small saucepan, over moderate heat until thick. Remove from heat, add fruit juices, cool before spreading.