We had a package of walnuts that needed to be used ASAP. As many of you bakers and health enthusiasts may know, nuts become rancid when stale due to their fatty oils. So, alas I decided I needed to bake. I had a jar of pitted dates in the pantry, so I went to work creating this cookie recipe. And, guess what? I nailed it on the first go-around. These Brown Sugar Walnut Date Bars are so good!
These bars taste like an upgraded oatmeal raisin cookie. They are addictively yummy. While the title of this recipe may not attract some, these bars are something that you would want to eat more than one of.
What is in these Brown Sugar Walnut Date Bars?
Walnuts: Walnuts make up a portion of the base to these bars. The nuttiness from the walnuts works great with the sweet dates and brown sugar.
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.
Oats: As I associated these cookies with oatmeal raisin cookies above, the oats are necessary for flavor and texture. The oats are just a another ingredient that plays so well with the walnuts, dates, and brown sugar.
The Usual Suspects: There is a small amount of all-purpose flour in this recipe. It completes the base for these bars. There is cinnamon, brown sugar, eggs, salt, and baking soda to complete the picture.
You could play with a whole wheat flour or even almond flour in place of the all-purpose. Walnuts could be substituted with pecans or almonds. If you are not a date fan, I suppose you could try this recipe with raisins or prunes.
These Brown Sugar Walnut Date Bars entail a delicious blend of nutty walnut flavor, subtle sweetness, and a warming oomph of cinnamon. They are not overly sweet, which I like. And they seemed to be a hit with everyone who tried them. They remind me of oatmeal raisin cookies, but upgraded with a healthy dose of walnuts and dates. A full recipe of these bars will generally give you about 24 good sized bars, but you can cut them however you would like. I definitely suggest making these!
You May Also Like:
- Strawberry Crumb Bars
- Fudgy Double Chocolate Walnut Brownies
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brown Sugar Walnut Date Bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup walnuts crushed
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 12 oz pitted dates pulsed or finely chopped
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 13-in by 9-in baking pan, set aside.
- For the Crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, crushed walnuts, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the cold butter until crumbly. (You have to work fast so the butter does not warm too quickly.)
- For the Filling: In a medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until well blended, and close to ribbon stage. Add vanilla, stirring to combine. Fold in the chopped dates. (can be finely chopped by hand or pulsed in food processor).
- Press 3/4 of the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Pour the filling over the first crust layer, making sure to spread evenly over all surface. Add the 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to remaining crust mixture. Evenly distribute the last of the crust mixture over the filling.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until lightly browned. 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.