I had a tub of dates that I needed to use up and was looking for ideas. Colleen suggested (more accurately requested) date bars and after a bit of google research, this is what I came up with. It is a mix of a few different recipes, dictated by what I had in the cupboard. ‘Date bars’ as you may have found gives you quite a variety of search results!
2 cups of regular oats.
1 3/4 cups of unbleached unpurpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar (mix of light and dark)
Cup of earth balance
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2-3 cups of dates (pitted and chopped)
1 cup water
1/2 cup of sorghum syrup
2 tablespoons maple syrup.
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a baking dish (I used pyrex and I think mine is 8×10)
To make the filling: put the dates, water and syrups in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. remove from the heat. Most recipes use sugar here but I wanted to find another use for the sorghum syrup and as the dates were a little dry I thought the extra liquid would help.
To make the crust: In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients and then rub in the earth balance (you could also use a mix of shortening and butter), but earth balance has a great flavor, bakes well and is vegan. The mixture is ready when it resembles coarse crumbs. Save a cup of the mixture and press the rest into the greased baking dish. Pour the date mixture on top and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cup of crumb mixture of top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.
They seemed to win the taste test with all of my guinea pigs. Colleen said that they tasted just like her mother’s which I took to be a compliment. Apparently they would have frozen well……