Friday, May 7, 2010


I have a very special relationship with food. You see, I tend to act like a squirrel and keep perishable products for far too long. Because of that bad mania, I generally end up creating menus or making treats in order to rescue from the dustbin the food that I have amassed greedily and stocked as if I were preparing for war...

So, as I had a leftover packet of Christmas dates that was about to expire, I thought that it would be great to not let it rot any further and to use it for making a sweet something that'll uplift our spirits which have been shattered by the awful weather outside. Some of the best treats to bring back a smile on your face are certainly cookie bars, so that's what I decided to bake.

After a little research, I found the perfect bar in Tish Boyle's "The Good Cookie". If you can't find anything interesting to bake in this "bible",
then you must be a cookie hater! There is not one recipe in this book that you would want to make and most importantly, all of the recipes I tested until now have been very successful.

The "Date Bars" are wonderful on all levels. They have a delightful spicy, nutty, buttery and fruitty flavor and a very pleasant flaky, crunchy as well as chewy (not too much, though) texture. Those bars are excellent and extremely addictive. Perfect for picnics, brunches or tea time!

~ Date Bars ~
Recipe taken from Tish Boyle's "The Good Cookie" and slightly adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.

Makes 16 bars.

Ingredients for the "Sweet Pastry Crust":
1 1/3 Cups All-purpose flour
1/3 Cup Granulated sugar
1/2 Tsp Sea salt
1/2 Cup (1 stick) Cold unsalted butter, cut into
1/2-inch cubes

1 Large egg yolk
2 Tsp Cold water
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
Ingredients for the "Date Filling":
2 Cups pitted dates, cut in half
1/3 Cup Granulated sugar
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 Tsp Finely grated organic orange zest

1/4 Tsp Sea salt
1 Cinnamon stick

Ingredients for the "Topping":
2/3 Cup All-pupose flour
1/4 Cup Firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Sea salt
1/2 Cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped
60g Unsalted butter, melted Confectioner's sugar for dusting (optional)

Method for the "Sweet Pastry Crust":
1. Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).
2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 22cm (9-inch) square baking pan
3. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until blended.
4. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture a
nd process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 6 seconds.
5. In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the egg yolk, water and vanilla extract.
6. With the food processor running, add the yolk mixture through the feed tube and process just until the dough begins to come together in large clumps, 15
to 20 seconds.
7. Scrape the dough into prepared pan and, using your fingers, pat it evenly into the bottom of the pan.

8. Bake the crust until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
9. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool while you prepare the date filling a
nd topping.
Method for the "Date Filling":
1. In a medium saucepan, combine dates, sugar, water, orange zest, salt and cinnamon.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the dates are tender.
3. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the cinnamon stick and transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
4. Process the mixture until smooth.
5. scrape the filling onto the cooled crust and spread evenly, covering the crust completely.
Method For the "Topping":
1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt until blended.
2. Stir in the nuts and then the melted butter, until the mixture comes together.
3. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the date filling, covering it.
Method for the "Baking":
1. Bake at 180° C (350° F) for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. 2. Cool completely on a wire rack.
3. Cut into 16 bars and sprinkle with the confectioner's sugar.


You can replace the dark brown sugar by light brown sugar and the walnuts by pecans.
Store those bars in an airtight container (I keep them in the fridge) at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Serving suggestions:
Eat those squares with some ice cream (vanilla, pecan, walnut, caramel, etc...) or alone.


~Barres Aux Dattes ~
Recette tirée du livre "The Good Cookie" par Tish Boyle et adaptée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.

Donne 16 barres.

Ingrédients pour la "Pâte Sucrée":
170g de Farine fleur/blanche
70g de Sucre cristallisé
1/2 CC de Sel
120g de Beurre non-salé froid et coupé en petits cubes
1 Gros jaune d'oeuf
2 CC d'Eau glacée
1 CC d'Extrait de vanille
Ingrédients pour la "Garniture Aux Dattes":
~315g de Dattes dénoyautées et coupées en deux
70g de Sucre crystallisé
360ml/g d'Eau
1 CC de Zeste d'orange bio
1/4 CC de Sel de mer

1 Bâtonnet de cannelle
Ingrédients pour le "Streusel":
85g de Farine blanche
60g de Sucre brun foncé
1 CC de Cannelle en poudre
1/8 de CC de Sel de mer
60g de Noix de Grenoble, hachées grosssièrement
60g de Beurre non-salé, fondu Sucre en poudre pour saupoudrer (en option)

pour la "Pâte Sucrée":
1. Positionner une grille de cuisson au milieu du four et préchauffer à 180° C (350° F).
2. Beurrer/graisser le fond et les bord
s d'un moule carré de 22cm (9-inch).
3. Mettre la farine, le sucre et le sel dans le bol du mixer et mixer jusqu'à ce que ça soit bien homogène.

4. Disperser les cubes de beurre sur le mélange farine/sucre/sel et mixer 6 secondes afin d'obtenir un mélange grossier ressemblant à un appareil à crumble.
5. Dans un petit bol ou une tasse, battre ensemble le jaune d'oeuf, l'eau et l'extrait de vanille.
6. Ajouter ce mélange au "crumble" dans le mixer et pulser pendant 15-20 secondes jusqu'à obtention d'une pâte.

7. Racler cette pâte et la mettre dans le moule, puis, en utilisant vos doigts, bien la presser de manière afin de couvrir le fond du moule de manière égale.
8. Cuire pendant 20 à 25 minutes, jusqu'à ce que la pâte soit dorée.
9. Sortir le moule du four et le mettre sur une grille afin que la pâte refroidisse pendant que vous préparez l'appareil aux dattes et le streusel.

Méthode pour la "Garniture Aux Dattes":
1. Dans une casserole moyenne, mélanger ensemble les dattes, le sucre, l'eau, le zeste, le sel et le bâtonnet de cannelle.
2. Porter à ébullition et réduire la température. Faire mijoter pendant 15 à 20 minutes, jusqu'à ce que les dattes soient tendres.
3. Faire refroidir le mélange pendant 10 minutes puis enlever le bâtonnet de cannelle et mettre le mélange dans un blender.
4. Mixer jusqu'à obtention d'une purrée fine.
5. Verser le mélange sur la croûte et répartir de manière homogène en recouvrant entièrement la croûte.
Méthode pour le "Streusel":
1. Dans un bol moyen, mélanger la farine, les sucres, la cannelle et le sel.
2. Ajouter les noix concassées et le beurre fondu. Bien mélanger afin que la préparation soit légèrement colmatée.
3. Répartir le streusel sur la purrée de dattes afin de la recouvrir entièrement.
Méthode pour la "Cuisson":
1. Cuire à 180° C (350° F) pendant 25 à 30 minutes jusqu'à ce que le dessus soit légèrement doré.
2. Laisser refoidir sur une grille.
3. Couper en 16 parts égales et saupoudrer avec le sucre en poudre.

Vous pouvez remplacer le sucre brun foncé par du sucre brun clair et les noix de Grenoble par des noix de pécan.
Ces barres se conservent 5 jours (à température ambiante - je les mets au frigo) dans une boîte.

Idées de présentation:
Vous pouvez servir ces carrés avec une boule de glace (vanille, café, noix de pécan, noix de Grenoble, caramel, etc...) ou servis tel quel.


  1. I love dates and it seems they are really a good source of iron and these bars just looks so so delicous. I wish i was like you making things before they get expired, sometimes i fing things in my shelf which are way to expired and i end cursing my self why i didn't use it earlier.

  2. These date bars have all the adjectives -y from nutty, to sold them to me Rosa.
    I need several for tea time and alone they are ok :)

    Have a great weekend!


  3. I've been trying to clear out my pantry too. These bars look scrumptious! Great use of your dates.

  4. I attempted a similar recipe once but the date filling didn't work out right. It was the holidays and I had a ton of other baking going on so I abandoned that particular recipe. Seeing your gorgeous pictures, I'm going to have to try these again.

  5. these are gorgeous bars...delicious and healthy ..
    your photos are so beautiful Rosa

  6. Such beautiful bars, I love the crumbly topping!

  7. Scrumptious bars, perfect to enjoy this in the garden where you can smell the fragrant lilac.

  8. These look delicious, Rosa. I'm going to try these!

  9. Schöne Riegel ! Ich kaufe immer viele Meedjol-Datteln ein, lagere sie im Kühlschrank, so kann man sie das ganze Jahr brauchen.

  10. That looks so delicious Rosa . Lovely

  11. I adore crumble cookies! Date filling sounds awesome!

  12. Hi Rosa
    Gosh, I am exactly like you, food wise stocking, oh well.
    My sincerely well done on this one.
    A master piece, awesome photos.
    Wishing you a great weekend, hopefully the weather will improve, wishful thinking x

  13. Rosa,

    Those date bars looks delicious.Dates good for health too.

  14. I have a lot of opened packets of food lying around too. This is great use of the leftovers!

  15. Dattes, zeste d'orange et cannelle... que demander de plus!
    À part les goûter sur le champ... j'vois pas!

  16. Woozers! look at that yummy goodness. All have one of those and a cup of java please!

  17. Quelles jolies barres!!!
    Une bien bonne gourmandise, j'en suis sûre!
    Ça ressemble beaucoup à nos carrés aux dattes!

    Bon w-e chère Rosa:)

  18. I love the crumbly top on these bars Rosa.

  19. I just love dates but this is by far the prettiest way to use them. I can only imagine how scrumptious they must taste. Thanks too for sharing more lovely photos, especially of the lilacs - it's a real pleasure seeing the spring through your eyes. Have a great weekend Rosa!

  20. I really adore date bars. I made them a while ago, but I think your recipe looks even better than the one I used...I've got to try it! :)

  21. Ouah quelles sont belles tes photos! =)
    Et tes barres aussi d'ailleurs!
    J'adore avec le Streusel dessus, miamm Un vrai régal pour les yeux!
    Bisous & Bonne soirée

  22. I've had that book for years and its one of my faves. I made so many things out of it, most of which work beautifully AND I still manage to find something new each time I open it. Funny, but I've never noticed these before and I do have a childhood thing for date square. I'm going to be trying these soon so use up my own dates that have been around too long. the buttery crust with the soft sweet dates look so tasty

  23. Love dates but have not made bars out of them, don't ask me why - find myself mostly eating them plain but I see this recipe has me rethinking this strategy.

  24. I really like the idea of using dates to make a cookie/bar. Your bars look beautiful and delicious!

  25. haha. I do the same thing with my food. there is always a mad scramble for the cookbooks when something is about to expire. Although I often miss it and not realise until too late :(

  26. tes barres donnent trop envie Rosa! wawwww

  27. My Mum often makes these for when we go off on long walks, as they provide the perfect sweet treat in the middle! This version looks just wonderful, especially the crumble topping, and you have definitely sold that book to me! On the birthday list now...

  28. I wish I had some dates around. I'd make some right now.

    I love your flower photos. They're beautiful.


  29. Baking like these are always good. I did smth simmilar with crunchy bottom and condensed milk and lemon caramel on top.
    Best wishes from Lithuania :)

  30. Just a few minutes ago, I was looking at the package of dates in my refrigerator, wondering what treat I would be making. These must have been so delicious!

  31. These look delicious. I love dates and with that buttery crust, they must be yummy!

  32. These look absolutely fabulous. I love the shortbread type crust and the natural sweetness of dates never stops to amaze me. Beautiful recipe and absolutely gorgeous pictures! :)

  33. Beautiful date bars! I am always on the lookout for dessert recipes for date. This one is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  34. those look absolutely delicious! :)

  35. I do the same thing, I forget I have things in the pantry and then I try all week to fit them into menus..I love the fillinf in these date..I think I have dates in the mom would love these


  36. J'adore ce genre de desserts entre crumble et barres de céréales. Superbes tes photos.
    Bon dimanche

  37. tu as utilisé quoi comme dattes? des medjool? !!bizz pierre

  38. I keep my food for too long too! I have easter eggs from last year =] I should throw them out soon......

    These bars look delicious! Especially the crunchy topping =]
    You make the book sound so good!

  39. I adore these treats that are naturally sweetened with fruits.

  40. Quelles bonnes pâtisseries Rosa! J'adore les dattes et les biscuits aux dattes et je pourrais en manger tous les jours de ma vie!

  41. how lovely! i love layered desserts and, like you, i tend to hang on to certain ingredients for way too long! these delicate, delicious bars are the perfect way to make use of those dates. :)

  42. These crumbly topped date bars are both humble and decadent, and when the weather warms up, great picnic fare.

  43. je crois que je suis comme toi, j'ai le syndrome de l'ecureuil aussi. D'ailleurs, tu me fais penser qu'il faut que j'utilise mes dattes :)

  44. Wow, love dates. This looks delicious.

  45. Rosa, I want a date with your date bars! I love date sweetened treats, especially nutty, buttery ones!

  46. Rosa, These date bars look so good...beautiful!

  47. sounds absolutely delicious!

  48. These look so good, Rosa! I am happy to hear your confession, because I have the same issue!!! One of the reasons I jumped at the chance to send you some chilies - because I knew they would just sit there in my hoard!

  49. I HAVE to try this. I love the idea of making a date bar at home. How lovely!

  50. Oh wow, these date bars are not only gorgeous but they sound like the perfect sweet treat. Yummy!

  51. ça c'est tout à fait le genre de gourmandise que j'aime , mais étant au régime le virtuel me convient parfaitement

  52. looks amazing. I love dates in dessert bars.

  53. These bars look scrumptious!

  54. Oh, man, these have my name written all over them!

  55. I am so like that, saving things for eventual war or famine! But love these date bars. Scrumptious snack!

  56. I love date bars. These look yummy.

  57. These look really yummy. I happen to have some dates leftover from sticky toffee cupcakes I made this week. Never used to like eating dates but I'm a convert now :)

  58. tes barres sont gourmandes et tellement appétissantes !!!
    bravo !!!


  59. These look delightful! The date filling in particular sounds wonderful. My husband would love these little treats.

  60. Quelle gourmandise ces carrés!!
    Avec la garniture aux dattes c'est très sympa!

  61. I just discovered your blog... and reading this recipe I do agree with your blog's name... Rosa's Yummy yum... mmm!

  62. I'm going to make these....they sound super good, I love the idea of date filling :)

  63. Rosa, These sound so good, I can't wait to try them!