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“Date Delights!!” • April 1, 2006

And WOW are they a delight!

And NO — I’m not talking about your dream date with the hot movie star of choice!  These dates are the ones that grow on trees!  But trust me that they are also super yummy!!

This one also involves a little manual labor so it’s a good idea to round up a willing male to provide said manual labor!  Remember ladies, you must always keep the labor and management boundaries clear!

This recipe is from THE Boss’ sister.  Apparently, there used to be a mix for date bars you could buy in the grocery store.  For some reason the mix went away but her family really liked it.  So — she did a little research kitchen work of her own and put together this recipe.  I never had any of the mix type, but these are really wonderful!!

We’re gonna need to make an oat crust and a date filling.  Here’s what you’ll need for each:

For the oat crust:

1 1/2 cups regular oats, uncooked

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup shortening

For the filling:

2 packages, 8 ounces each, of whole pitted dates

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Let’s make the crust stuff first.  In a big mixing bowl, dump in the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Instruct your male to stir them up well!  Next, add the shortening and use a pastry blender to smush the shortening and dry stuff together, (an excellent use of those male arm muscle resources!)

Use a half to two thirds of the mixture to press against the bottom and sides of an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 glass backing pan.  Save the rest to put on top.

Now let’s make the filling.  First, chop up the dates into little bitsy pieces.  Use a food chopper or a food processor, (my food processor is named Roger!)  Dump the dates, water, and sugar into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil while STIRRING CONSTANTLY!  (Gotta keep your guy’s muscles in tip top shape!)  Once it boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer for a minute or two but KEEP STIRRING.  Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and carefully spoon the filling evenly over the oat mixture in the baking pan.

Now just as carefully, spoon the remaining oat mixture over the date filling to completely cover the dates.

Put it in the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Better to under cook a little than over cook.  Try the 25 minutes first with your oven, then adjust as necessary.

Set it aside and let it cool completely before you try cutting it into squares.

One of my favorites treats is to place a two inch square, (or shove a couple of smaller squares together,) on a microwave safe plate, nuke them for about 30 seconds until they are really hot, (depends on your microwave,) and then put a big scoop of Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla on top!!  Yummy To Die For!!!

If you need to take a dessert tray to a party or work or something, give this one a try!  At the end, you’ll get the plate back, but it will be EMPTY!!


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Last Updated: April 2006

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