Easy Date Bars

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Easy Date Bars are a date-filled oatmeal bars inspired by a childhood favorite.  They taste similar to my grandma’s recipe, only made a little healthier and are super quick and easy to make!  

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One of my favorite cookies from childhood is a recipe my grandma used to make, called Trilbies.  They are a soft, oatmeal cookie with a date filling.  They were SO good.  I do have her recipe, but I remember she always complained about how much trouble they were to make.  They always end up last on my holiday baking list and never get made.  This year, I decided to take my favorite aspects of the recipe –  dates and oats – and turn them into simple Easy Date Bars!   They taste pretty darn close to the beloved cookie – close enough anyway, because these Easy Date Bars are super easy to make!

easy date bars | www.alidaskitchen.com | #smartcookie #ad

First, I put the dates and water in a sauce pan to boil and thicken.  My grandma’s recipe calls for a cup of sugar, but dates are so sweet that I found that much was really not necessary.  Then while they filling is cooking, I quickly stir together the dough.  Press half the dough in the pan, pour the date mixture over the dough and cover it with the remaining dough, pressing down gently to create a smooth top.  Bake for about 20 minutes, and you have delicious Easy Date Bars!

Since we are in the New Year, I wanted to make these a little healthier.  Not only did I reduce the sugar, but  to reduce some of the saturated fat  I decided to use Smart Balance buttery sticks in this recipe.  Smart Balance butter sticks are made with a heart healthier blend without hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated  oils and are naturally 0g trans fat.  I used them as a 1:1 substitution for butter, and the result was wonderful!  Easier, healthier date bars…my grandma would be pleased! 🙂

healthier easy date bars | www.alidaskitchen.com | #smartcookie #ad

Easy Date Bars
 
Yields: 16 bars
Ingredients
Filling:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) dates, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Crust:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups oats (quick or old-fashioned)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, melted (I used Smart Balance)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan, add dates, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking soda. Add melted butter, and stir until combined. (Note: The mixture will be dry).
  4. Press half of the flour mixture into the prepared baking pan. Pour filling over the top. Then press the remaining flour mixture over the top of the filling
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or bars start to turn golden. Let cool completely.

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Smart Balance is offering a complimentary 14-day meal plan to help right-track your eating and offer a variety of tasty recipes to make at home. The plan can be downloaded for free here: http://bit.ly/JW4XWz

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smart Balance.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for nice recipe.

  2. When a person refers to “Grandma” in their post…you know there’s got to be some merit to it 🙂 … These are awesome dear healthy and nutritious … thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe.

  3. I have some dried cranberries I need to use up and all of the rest of the ingredients you list… I wonder how that would work out though…???

    • Alida Fischbach says:

      I bet it would be really tasty! I might suggest adding a little more sugar to the filling and maybe some orange zest too. Please let me know if you try it! 🙂

  4. Nice recipes.