Twelve Days of Baking: Mom's Date Nut Bars

November 21, 2011

Day 7: 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.

Mom’s Date Nut Bars

24 bars

1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/2-teaspoon baking powder
1/4-teaspoon salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2-cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups diced dates (10 ounces)
1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter a 10-inch square pan and dust with flour or line the pan with aluminum foil and butter 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. Combine the eggs, sugar, melted butter and vanilla extract. 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.

These can be made ahead and frozen without the confectioners sugar for up to 3 months.

Recipe from Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito.

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