I ve been bitten by the baking bug a little too much lately. Third day in a row and i was again in a mood to make something. And this something has been in my "to make list" for a very long time. Date Bars or Matrimonial Bars as they call in Western Canada !!! I have made this several times now and not fed up yet. Frankly, i hate Dates. I just cant seem to like it no matter how many reasons you give me. Then i found this chewy crispy recipe. Kudos to the guts in the date hater in me to even try making it in the first place and boy, am i glad i did. Now this is the only way i can eat the healthy iron rich dates and had so much of it during my pregnant days also. This recipe just ups the nutrition value of dates with oats in it and i can guarantee you that even fussy children will love this. So dont hesitate even once to make these for them, for they will eat it like they would any chocolate snack. (P.S Just dont call them "Date"bars when you ask them to try it or they may cringe even before trying it...like me.)You will need:
Chopped Seedless Dates - 200 gms
Water - 1 cup
Plain Flour - 175 gms
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Brown Sugar - 175 gms
Chilled Butter cubed - 175 gms
Oats - 100 gms
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Grease a 8 inch square cake pan and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Cook dates with water on medium low heat for approximately 10 minutes until it becomes gooey.
Remove from flame, add vanilla essence and cool completely to room temperature.
Sift together flour and baking soda.
Add sugar,oats and cubed soft butter to the flour and mix together with your fingers until soft moist clumps are formed.
Divide the oat mixture and press one half of the mixture evenly at the bottom of the pan.
Now spread the date mixture on the oats base.
Top the date mixture again with the rest of the oats mixture, pressing it gently.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown.
The smell will be too wonderful that you will want to cut into squares and relish it immediately. But hold the thought!
Before cutting into equal squares, let it sit in the baking pan for a couple of hours.
Otherwise, it might crumble too easily while removing from the pan.
Your Date Bars are ready!!! Carry a piece with you to work for a quick boost of energy or serve with vanilla ice cream for a scrumptious dessert.
My butter became too soft sitting outside and therefore my date bars is a bit crumbly compared to the other times i ve made it. So make sure you have chilled butter cut into cubes and please mix it in with your fingers only instead of reaching out to that food processor.
Add half cup of roasted nuts on top of the date puree layer for a crunchy twist to the recipe.
The longer you bake it, the more chewy and crispy it becomes.