Annika Eats

Date Bars

These eggless date bars are perfect for Ramadan round the corner. With an oat biscuit base and a walnut crumble they are simple and easy to bake up. 

Dates are an essential part of Ramadan and it is only right for me to share this simple and delicious recipe that is made in no time. There are two parts to this recipe, the date filling and the biscuit base. The date filling is cooked sandwiched between the biscuit base and the crumble topping. We make the crumble topping from the biscuit base mixture. The addition of walnuts and cinnamon add crunch and flavor with every bite. I love adding some lemon juice into the dates as it balances out the sweetness as well. 

What ingredients do we need to make the Date Bars?

To make the filling for the date bars we need dates (that are pitted), lemon juice, water and brown sugar. To make the biscuit base we need flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon powder baking soda and salt. We use a fourth of the biscuit mixture to make the crumble topping by adding walnuts and sesame seeds into it. You can garnish with a drizzle of tahini but this is optional. 

What substitutes can you use to make the Date Bars?

Dates – 

I have made these bars with dried apricots and they worked really well. 

Brown sugar – 

I prefer the flavor of brown sugar in this recipe but you could use castor sugar, coconut sugar, granulated white sugar as well.

Oats – 

The recipe calls for instant oats but you could use a mixture of rolled oats and instant oats. 

Flour –

We have used all purpose flour to make this recipe but you could use oat flour, gluten free flour mix, spelt flour and self raising flour as well. 

Cinnamon powder – 

I love the flavor of cinnamon and dates but a little vanilla extract would work wonders in this recipe. 

Butter –

You an use any butter you like. I have tested the recipe with coconut butter, vegan butter spread and olive oil butter as well . If you are using margarine make sure it is a good quality one. I wouldn’t recommend it. Do not use nut butters to make this recipe. 

Walnuts – 

The addition of these are my personal preference but you could use almonds, hazelnuts or peanuts as well to make these bars. 

What equipment do you need to make the Date Bars?

We need a large mixing bowl, whisk/electric beater, spatula for the biscuit base mixture where as we need a sauce pot to cook the date mixture. I use a spatula to stir this around and it helps break down the dates. The bars are baked in an 9×13 in tin. If you use a smaller tin, it will give you a thicker bar and it would take longer to bake as well. I like the line the tin with baking paper as this helps to remove it from the tin once it is baked. 

How to make the Date Bars?

We start by making the date filling mixture. Remove all the seeds from the dates and place the dates in a sauce pot. Add the water, lemon juice and brown sugar. Cook the mixture on low to medium heat until completely softened and mushy. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven at this stage. Line your 9×13 inch tin with baking paper and set aside. 

Let us now make the biscuit base filling. We start by creaming the butter and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the flour, oats, baking soda , salt and cinnamon powder into the mixture and using your spatula until combined. The mixture will look a little lumpy and dry which is perfect. Dump 3/4 of the biscuit mixture into the line tin and level it using your fingers/spoon. Once it is even we add the date mixture on the top and spread it evenly. In the remaining biscuit mixture filling we add the walnuts, sesame seeds and crumble the mixture over the date bars. Bake this for 30-33 mins until done. 

How to serve the Date Bars?

Once the bars have been baked, they need to cool down completely before slicing or else they will fall apart. I like to garnish each bar with a little tahini drizzle on top. If you cut them into bars, the recipe should yield 10 bars however if you are cutting it into squares you will get 20 pieces. Serve it with tea, coffee or a glass of cold milk as well. They are great to wrap up as edible gifts for ramadan. 

How to store the Date Bars?

You can store these bars in air tight containers at room temperature for 5-7 days, ensure no moisture goes into the box. If you are storing it longer, I would recommend placing them in the fridge for upto 3 weeks. 

Now that we have understood how to make these Date Bars let us not waste any time. Happy Baking Ninjas!

Date Bars

These eggless date bars are perfect for Ramadan round the corner. With an oat biscuit base and a walnut crumble they are simple and easy to bake up.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 33 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs
Course Breakfast, Appetizer, Dessert, Snack, Sweet tooth, cookie, tea time, Finger food, High Tea, Iftar, Suhoor
Cuisine American, Middle Eastern, Arabic
Servings 10 Bars

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electric beater/Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Sauce pot
  • 9x13 inch Baking tin
  • Baking paper

Ingredients
  

Date filling

  • 3 cups dates
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

Biscuit base

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup instant oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Garnish

  • Tahini

Instructions
 

To make the Date filling:

  • In a sauce pot add the dates, water, lemon juice and brown sugar. Cook the mixture on low to medium heat until completely softened and mushy. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 180℃ at this stage. Line your 9x13 inch tin with baking paper and set aside.

To make the Biscuit base:

  • Add the butter and sugar in a bowl, cream together until pale and fluffy using a whisk or electric beater.
  • Add the flour, oats, baking soda , salt and cinnamon powder into the mixture and using your spatula until combined.

Assembly:

  • Dump 3/4 of the biscuit mixture into the lined tin and level it using your fingers/spoon. Once it is even we add the date mixture on the top and spread it evenly.
  • In the remaining biscuit mixture filling we add the walnuts, sesame seeds and crumble the mixture over the date bars. Bake this for 30-33 mins until done.
  • Once the bars have been baked, they need to cool down completely before slicing or else they will fall apart. I like to garnish each bar with a little tahini drizzle on top.
  • If you cut them into bars, the recipe should yield 10 bars however if you are cutting it into squares you will get 20 pieces.
  • Serve it with tea, coffee or a glass of cold milk as well. They are great to wrap up as edible gifts for ramadan.

Notes

Make sure to cook the date filling mixture until the dates have broken down, the mixture is jammy and soft.
Do not over mixture the crumble mixture as it will look dry, this helps keep the biscuit tender and light once baked.
Let the bars cool completely before cutting or else they will fall apart.

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