Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sweet Saturday - Date-Nut Bars

This holiday cookie is one of my stealth favorites. By that I mean it's not one that immediately comes to mind when I start to get excited about the Remarkable Marcy going into baking mode. But inevitably, it quickly moves up the list of cookies I sneak from the tins.

Dates are one of the food world's more unappetizing-looking items. Brown, wrinkly, a little slimy. Sort of like mutant raisins at best, a little like cockroaches at worst. But when chopped up and put into these cookies, they're very tasty.

Date-Nut Bars

1 8-oz. package pitted, chopped dates
1 cup chopped raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbl orange juice
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease two baking sheets and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir dates, raisins, walnuts, orange peels, cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar until fruit is coated with sugar. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter, the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and orange juice. Add the date mixture and stir until blended. Do not over mix!

The dough should be stiff. Divide into four portions and shape two logs on each baking sheet. The logs should be 12 x 2 x 1/2 inches.

Bake 15 minutes, then cool 15 minutes after taking them from the oven. Slice the logs diagonally into 3/4-inch bars and dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 64 bars.

Enjoy!

1 comment:

DocNo said...

Oooh, I love dates - can't wait to try these.

If you don't like chopping dates, check out Shields Date Crystals

http://www.shieldsdates.com/

Just pour and use - I like to re-hydrate them in before using them, but they are quick and easy.