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Substituting brown sugar for white sugar gives this classic Date Nut Bars recipe a deeper, richer flavor with just a hint of molasses.

When we purchased and moved into my parents’ home last year, I inherited several items that mom didn’t want to part with, but didn’t have room to take with her.

Grandma’s Date Nut Bars Recipe

One of those ‘items’ was an old, forest green, tin recipe box chock full of my Grandma’s hand-written or typed recipe cards. While some recipes, like “Baconized Meat Loaf”, I’m a tad uncertain about, I was tickled to find her recipe for Date Nut Bars.

3 date nut bars from overhead with a copy of my Grandma's recipe

I use the term ‘recipe’ lightly; it was more a list of ingredients, with temperature and bake time included.

I decided to swap out the white sugar for brown sugar, only because I like the depth of flavor that brown sugar brings. Turns out, that was a very good decision if I do say so myself! The resulting Date Nut Bars are soft and chewy, with that delightful brown sugar taste and a nice crunch from the walnuts.

3 date nut bars on a tray

Baking bars is just easier & quicker than baking cookies

Let’s face it, tucking your batter into a baking pan is just so much easier and quicker than rolling out cookies. From start to finish, you could have these date nut bars made in about an hour. In addition to these date nut bars, another one of my ‘bars are better than cookies’ recipes is this Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars Recipe.

Sifting Flour

This recipe asks you to sift your flour. I always sift my flour with any added salt, baking powder, or baking soda included in the ingredient list. Sifting helps incorporate all the dry ingredients and breaks up any ‘chunks’. But most importantly, it adds air to the flour.

If you don’t have a sifter (I discarded mine a while ago as I found it unnecessary), dump your flour (and salt, baking powder or baking soda) into a mesh sieve and shake it over your bowl. Alternately, you can use a whisk to ‘fluff’ up your flour, though it won’t be quite as light.

Date Nut Bars

Date Nut Bars

Yield: 9 squares
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Pour hot water over diced dates and set aside
  2. Preheat oven to 325° and grease or butter a 9 x 9-inch baking dish
  3. Combine flour and baking powder and set aside
  4. Combine brown sugar, beaten eggs, melted butter, salt, and vanilla
  5. Combine flour mixture and brown sugar mixture
  6. Drain dates well and add to batter, along with chopped walnuts
  7. Pour batter into the baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes, until tester inserted in the middle of the bars comes out clean

Did you make this recipe?

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