Medjool date bars with almonds

by Stevie on December 12, 2011

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These date bars are my mother’s recipe. She got it from a cookbook on bars and cakes, though I’ve no idea its name. They have to be my all-time favorite dessert that she makes: I like these even more than her celebrated homemade cream puffs or Italian Christmas cookies. Last year, she mailed me a care package for the holidays that included a small container of date bars. Yum! They got a bit mashed up in the post but it hardly mattered.

Medjool date bars with almonds

Medjool date bars with almonds

me and the folks on vacation to wine country this fall

me and the folks on vacation to wine country this fall

Whenever she makes them, I feel young. Though the funny thing is that we never ate these when I was a child. I don’t think that she discovered this amazing recipe herself until I had already left home for good. Yet, I feel that they’re part of my entire culinary life back to my earliest memories. Strange how the mind works. I know it isn’t true yet I cannot help believing we’ve always enjoyed these date bars in my family. Could this be what initially attracted my father to my mother? Hmmm…

Maybe not, but if the quantum physics people are right, perhaps that’s exactly what happened in some alternate universe.

It’s nice to dream.

Medjool date bars with almonds

1½ lbs Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup sugar
¼ plus ¼ tsp salt
½ cup sliced almonds
1½ cups flour
1½ cups rolled oats
½ cup brown sugar
12 tbsp butter

Add dates, sugar, ¼ tsp salt and orange juice to a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for five minutes, covered, until the fruit softens and forms a thick paste. Set aside.

Grease and flour a medium baking dish—mine was an oval one about 9 by 14 inches. The original recipe calls for 9” by 9”. Pre-heat oven to 375F.

Mix flour, oats, remaining salt, and brown sugar together. I used my food processor with the dough blade. Roughly chop butter and process into dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form. Press half of oat mix into base of baking dish. Cover with cooked dates. Top with remaining oat mix. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until the crust slightly browns. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cut into bars.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Heavenly Housewife December 12, 2011 at 5:51 am

I would go crazy for these, I looooove medjool dates, and have a big stock pile of them in my kitchen.
I want to make these.
*kisses* HH

lucia silver December 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Ai que vontade que da!

Heguiberto December 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Delícia Lúcia ;)

Barbara December 13, 2011 at 3:53 am

My father used to love date bars. My great aunt made her recipe for him all the time. While I don’t like dates all that much, her date bars were fabulous. I don’t remember that she used almonds or orange juice in hers. I’ll have to dig out the recipe.

Tom | Tall Clover Farm December 17, 2011 at 7:51 am

Stevie, no doubt good cooking played a role in your Dad’s wise affections, but I would say it’s your mother’s smile and sparkle that got to him first. I LOVE dates and after taking down this recipe I’m off to discover your Italian cookie recipe link. Merry Merry. Tom

Magic of Spice December 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

Your parents look like wonderful people and I love this photo of you :) The bars do sound dreamy and perhaps there was a connection :)
Happy Holidays guys, hope you are enjoying the Season…

OysterCulture December 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I don’t often get to make too many things with dates, I eat them straight too quickly, but I may have to control my impulses for this one.

cal@majool dates March 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

This may be very tasty, I love snack with dates as ingredients. i would love to cook such on my brothers Pre- wedding schedule late this year. But i must sample it though, i don’t want to disappoint my brothers’s visitors. thanks for a great recipe

medjooldatetree March 19, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I love medjool dates bars for their sweetness, and being served with almond bars makes that meal so great.

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