Date Bars

I pulled out some of our old deli recipes, now that the grandkids and I want to make desserts on occasion. We used to make this recipe at The New Deli, back when we had a wholesale delivery route as well (in the eighties). It was a hit!

Less Sugar Date BarsThis is a less-sweet version of the original Betty Crocker recipe. And it can be made gluten-free, by substituting processed oats (“oat flour”) in place of the regular flour.

I made these with the grandkids—they were surprised that the dates turn into this yummy filling, just by cooking up with some water. Might serve 12 or so (unless there are some date-bar-piggies like me around…).


  • 3 c. dates (1 lb.)
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 3/4 c. quick-cooking oats

Ahead of time, prepare the date filling. Boil, then simmer until thick: > 1 lb. dates > 1 c. water

Cool the date mix.

Beat until creamy: > 1 c. brown sugar > 1 c. butter

Add, just beating until mixed: > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/2 tsp. salt

Add to creamed stuff: > 2 1/4 c. flour > 3 c. quick-cooking oats

Butter 13×9″ pan. Press half the above in pan. Spread with the cooled date filling.

Sprinkle other half of oat mix on top. Bake at 400 degrees (375 in Pyrex) for 20-30 minutes.

Serve warm with whipped cream if desired.

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