This is a classic recipe of date bars that shows up potlucks on a regular basis. Sweet date filling, buttery crust, and crispy oat topping combine to create a classic treat!
What is a date bar?
A date bar is made up of a chopped date filling spread between two delicious crust layers and baked up. So good!
Can you freeze date bars?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze date bars. They thaw quickly so they make a great treat for freezing.
I use Medjool dates for my date bars. What is the difference between Medjool dates and regular dates you wonder? They are larger, darker, and more caramel in flavor. "Regular" dates are smaller and a bit more delicate. Try each and see which you prefer.
These bars have been favorites of mine forever. I love the combo of sweet dates and buttery crust. I think these bars get a bad rap for being old-fashioned and "old".
Really, these bars are a great example of simple flavors and great ingredients being treated with some love. There is a reason these bars have been showing up in homes for generations...so good!
Can you replace dates with prunes?
You can substitute dates with prunes or, even better, figs. But let's be real...prune bars just don't sound nearly as delicious as date bars.
Many of you will notice that my bars don't have nuts in the topping like you usually find in the classic recipes. My family doesn't love nuts in desserts. But if your family loves them I suggest trying some toasted chopped walnuts in the topping. Soo good!
REcently we made these date bars on our Facebook page. Check that out...
Old-fashioned Date Bars
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract or vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 8-12 oz Medjool dates chopped
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar brown or white
- 3 tablespoons butter cold
- 1/4 cup quick oatmeal
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted optional
- Preheat the oven to 350degrees
- Spray a 9 inch square pan
- Beat the butter and sugar together, add the extract and beat well.
- Add the flour and beat on low just until it starts to come together and then use a fork or your fingers to finish bringing it together. It will be crumbly.
- Press the dough into the pan and press in well.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until set. Do not overbake.
- In a small, heavy saucepan bring the water to a boil.
- Add the sugar and chopped dates.
- Bring it back to a boil and then turn the heat down on low to simmer, stirring often.
- Simmer, stirring often, until thickened and soft. Remove from heat.
- Spread the filling on the baked crust.
- Mix the flour, sugar, and butter with a pastry cutter until nice and crumbly.
- Add the oats and, if using, walnuts.
- Spread the topping on the date filling.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.