More >

Mom's Date Nut Bars

No holiday visit to Mom’s was ever complete without her sending me home with a box of her famous date nut bars. Of all her confections, this was the one that everyone craved.

24 bars


1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups diced dates (10 ounces)

1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

Confectioner’s sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 10-inch square pan and dust with flour or line the pan with aluminum foil and butter and flour it. Set aside.

Sift 1/2 cup of the flour with the baking powder and salt into a bowl.

In another bowl beat the eggs until they are foamy. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla beating until well blended. Fold in the flour mixture.

In a small bowl toss the dates and nuts with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of the four. This method will prevent the dates and nuts from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking.

Fold the date mixture into the batter.

Spread batter evenly in the pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and firm to the touch. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Cut into squares and sprinkle the tops with confectioner’s sugar.

Note:  These can be made ahead and frozen without the confectioner’s sugar for up to 3 months.

This recipe is featured on show 2215 – Mom’s Cookies / Biscotti della Mamma.

This recipe is from Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito.


  1. Sue G.'s avatar

    Sue G.

    I was looking for a date-nut bar just like this one! No oats, just a little sugar and flour. It is so great! It is a cookie--it's not an energy bar--and the flavor and texture are fantastic. It's so tender. This will be the date-nut bar recipe I use from now on.
  2. Heather G.'s avatar

    Heather G.

    This is not the recipe from my childhood that I was looking for--it is better! I love the texture, and they taste fantastic. I did not sprinkle with powdered sugar because I couldn't wait for them to cool before cutting a piece to taste. They look and taste wonderful without the sugar.
  3. Mary Bosma's avatar

    Mary Bosma

    I would like to know what book you are publishing the recipe for Red Pepper Torte, Episode 2323. You do have the recipe for Red Pepper Sauce. I would like to have the published recipe and also buy the book this recipe for which this Torte is included. What is the name of the Cook Book and is it sold by Amazon?

    Mary B.
  4. Sandy's avatar


    Made 1/2 the recipe in a loaf pan, worked beautifully (got 8 squares out of it) was verrrry yummmmmy! Thank you Mary Ann, this is now our new favourite square!

Leave a Comment

Want more Recipes? See My Latest Book

Ciao Italia Family Classics

Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.

Buy it now from Amazon