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Walnut Date Dessert Bars (GF)

Posted Apr 23 2011 11:36am

Here in the Heartland, you know the natives, because they are well acquainted with “bars”. Not the booze-drinking bars, but the neighborhood friendly cookie “bar”. Wikipedia gives this description of a “bar”… consisting of batter or other ingredients that are poured or pressed into a pan (sometimes in multiple layers), and cut into cookie-sized pieces after baking. Bars are something you take to a social gathering, to an ailing neighbor, a church potluck or to a new mom just home from the hospital. The advantage of baking bars, is that to make them look nice on a plate, you  need to slice off  a thin edge  all the way around the pan, and then these are free for the nibbling!

Several weeks ago, I purchased some Medjool dates, just because it is something that I had never purchased before! I knew that they are naturally high in sugar, so I thought I could come up with a dessert bar without having to add refined sugar. After tweaking a few recipes, I came up with this one! I began by pitting and chopping 1 c. of dates.

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After gathering the rest of the ingredients, I started whisking and stirring.

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In a small bowl, whisk eggs, oil, honey and vanilla.

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In a separate bowl, whisk dates with almond flour. This took a few extra tools, because I tried to separate the chopped dates so they weren’t in one big hunk. Add salt, baking soda and walnuts. Stir into egg mixture.

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Lay a piece of parchment paper in an 8×8 pan. Spray oil lightly over paper, then spoon mixture over paper, smoothing it out into the corners. This is a great way to keep the dough from sticking to the edges! (Saves on washing dishes too!)

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Bake in 350 oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat.

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Let set in pan for about 10 minutes, then remove by lifting on the parchment paper. Cool for at least 30 minutes, then slice into desired sizes.

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These look good enough for a ladies tea, however my honey keeps snitching them out of the freezer, so they must be good enough for a manly man too!

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Walnut Date Dessert Bars

1/1/2 c. flour (I used almond flour to make these gluten free)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3 eggs
1/4 c. light olive oil
1/4 c. raw honey
1 T. vanilla
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. chopped dates

Mix dry ingredients together, making sure the dates are well distributed and not clumped together. Whisk eggs, oil, honey and vanilla together. Stir into dry ingredients. Lay a piece of parchment paper in an 8×8 pan, with an inch or so overhanging pan. Lightly spray with oil. Spoon dough into pan, smoothing into each corner. Bake in 350 oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and let set for 10 minutes. Then bars out of pan using the parchment paper. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing into desired sizes.

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