These Brown Sugar Date and Walnut Bars taste like an upgraded oatmeal raisin cookie. They are nutty, sweet, and absolutely scrumptious. You will definitely want to eat more than one. This recipe will take you back to childhood!
These brown sugar date and walnut bars have a delicious blend of nutty walnut flavor, delectable sweetness, and a warming oomph of cinnamon. They're reminiscent of oatmeal raisin cookies but upgraded with a healthy dose of walnuts and dates. They're comforting in flavor with a soft, tender texture. These homemade date nut bars are every bit delicious!
If you are a date lover like me, then you will love these Chocolate Covered Dates with Peanut Butter!
Why You Will Love These Cookie Bars
- These cookie bars are literally addictive. They are SO GOOD!
- This recipe makes a lot, twenty-four bars total.
- No need to pull out the standing mixer, the whole mixing process can be done by hand!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Walnuts - Walnuts make up a portion of the base of these bars. The nuttiness from the walnuts works great with sweet dates and brown sugar. While walnuts are preferred, you can also use almonds or pecans in substitution.
- Dates - Dates are having a moment. They are a great option when you want to add sweetness to a baked good, but with additional health benefits. Not only that, but they add a delightful chewiness as well.
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats - As I associated these nutty bars with oatmeal raisin cookies above, the oats are necessary for flavor and texture. The oats are just another ingredient that plays so well with walnuts, dates, and brown sugar.
- Unsalted Butter (cold) - The butter is cut into the dry ingredients for this recipe. Similar to how you make pie crust or scones, cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks. It is important to work quickly so that the butter stays cold.
- Eggs (room temperature)
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- All-Purpose Flour - For a gluten-free alternative, substitute almond flour or cup-4-cup flour in place of the A.P.
- Baking Soda
- Ground Cinnamon
- Light Brown Sugar (packed) - Brown sugar is quintessential to these old-fashioned cookie bars (hence the name). Brown sugar is in both the crust and the date filling.
STEP 1 - Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 13-in by 9-in baking pan, set aside.
STEP 2 - In a large bowl, combine the flour, crushed walnuts, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
STEP 3 - Cut in the cold butter until crumbly. (You have to work fast so the butter does not warm too quickly.)
STEP 4 - In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until well blended, and close to the ribbon stage. Add vanilla extract, stirring to combine. Fold in the chopped dates.
STEP 5 - Press ¾ of the crust mixture into the prepared pan.
STEP 6 - Pour the filling over the first crust layer, making sure to spread evenly over all surfaces.
STEP 7 - Add the ½ cup of chopped walnuts to the remaining crust mixture. Evenly distribute the last of the crust mixture over the filling.
STEP 8 - Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
EASIEST METHOD FOR CHOPPING DATES - Use kitchen shears to cut the sticky pitted dates into smaller pieces.
FOR THE CLEANEST SLICES - For the cleanest slices, refrigerate until firm and then cut.
KEEP THE BUTTER COLD - The key to the tender texture of the crust is cold butter. To ensure that the butter stays cold, place the crust mixture into the refrigerator until ready to use.
Storing and Freezing
- STORAGE - Store cooled bars in an airtight container with wax paper separating the layers. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days. To increase the freshness, store the container in the refrigerator.
- FREEZE - Transfer cooled cookie bars to an airtight container or freezer-safe zip-top bag. Separate the layers with sheets of wax paper. Freeze for up to 2 months.
When the bars are done baking the top should be golden brown and when a toothpick is inserted into the center of the bars, it should come out clean.
Use a gluten-free alternative flour or almond flour in place of the all-purpose flour.
While you can purchase walnuts already crushed, this process can also be done in the food processor.
Other Yummy Cookie Bars
- Nutella Brownies
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Rocky Road Brownies
- S'mores Cookie Bars
- Fudgy Double Chocolate Walnut Brownies
These are the BEST date and walnut bars! But do not just take my word for it, make a batch for yourself. Come back, leave a review, and let me know what you think.
Brown Sugar Date and Walnut Bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup walnuts crushed
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed
- ½ cup walnuts chopped
- 12 oz pitted dates pulsed or finely chopped
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature and whisked
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 13-in by 9-in baking pan, set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, crushed walnuts, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the cold butter until crumbly.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until well blended, and close to the ribbon stage. Add vanilla, stirring to combine. Fold in the chopped dates.
- Press ¾ of the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Pour the filling over the first crust layer, making sure to spread evenly over the entire surface. Add the ½ cup of chopped walnuts to the remaining crust mixture. Evenly distribute the last of the crust mixture over the filling.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
- Store in an airtight container for up to one week. For longer shelf-life, store in the refrigerator.
- Crust can be made in a food processor, but be careful not to over-mix.
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