Use the best-quality dates you can find! Fresh medjool dates are my favorite and they worked perfectly in this recipe. Store in an airtight container, the bars will keep for a couple days.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Total time: 1 hour, largely unattended
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Butter 8×8-inch metal baking pan.
3. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to simmer in medium saucepan. Add dates; simmer until very soft and thick, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.
4. Combine flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in large bowl; stir to blend.
5. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until moist clumps form.
6. Press half of oat mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread date mixture over. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture; press gently to adhere. Bake until brown at edges and golden brown and set in center, about 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars and serve.