Well, as is often the case around here, the dates sat. And sat. And nobody snacked on them. Not even once.
So, here I was with some really lovely dates and no one wanted them. What to do? What to do?
Well, when life gives you dates, soak them in rum. You know what I always say? Everything tastes better soaked in rum.
|Dates soaked in rum. What could be bad?|
|Ready for the oven.|
What I really like about these date bars is that they're more like a snack cake. Nothing fancy but completely versatile. They're nice to snack on but you could dress them up with a little ice cream or whip cream (Paula Deen style) and serve them for a more serious dessert. Or you could serve them with a cheese course. The possibilities are endless.
All that from a little date.
Recipe: Date Bars
(Adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook (Hyperion) by Lisa Fain)
8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) diced pitted dates
1 tablespoon rum
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon melted butter, salted or unsalted
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Toss the dates in the rum and let them sit for a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Line a 9-inch (23 cm) square pan with foil and coat the inside with non-stick spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and eggs until smooth. Mix in the butter, hot water, and vanilla, then stir in the flour mixture. Use a spatula to stir in the dates (and any liquid) and the pecans.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let date bars cool, then lift out the bars. Peel away the foil and cut into squares.
Storage: The bars will keep for up to four days at room temperature, or can be frozen for up to two months.