As a youngster in southern California, I used to endure the long two lane drive from Los Angeles to the "ranch" my father owned in the searinginly hot desert of Coachella Valley.
It was in a place called Mecca, near a small town called Thermal. The name Thermal ought to give you an idea of the heat. Only Death Valley beat Mecca and Thermal for the hot spots.
Enroute we would stop at Hadley's Date Stop in the middle of nowhere. Date shakes were my favorite. They were cold and full of date bits, which I loved. But Hadley's also had something else I liked. Date bars. This is the best replication I can come up for that bar. Either my memory serves me well, or my baking ability does. No matter, these are delicious. P.S. I prefer them with the almonds, but each choice tastes great.
This recipe works with fresh or soft Deglet Noor
or Medjool dates. Deglet Noor is the most common date found in the U.S. and are mostly grown in the Coachella Valley of California.
Sodium Per Recipe: 206.2 mg
Sodium Per Serving: 6.248 mg
Per Date Bar:
Protein: 2.589 g Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber: 2.975 g
Total Sugars: 17.8 g
Total Fat: 4.835 g
Saturated Fat: 2.918 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.171 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: .432 g
Cholesterol: 14 mg
Calcium: 18.6 mg
Potassium: 187.5 mg
Sodium: 6.248 mg
Vitamin K: 0 mcg
Folate: 8.904 mcg
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar (70.7 mg)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white all-purpose flour (3 mg)
1/2 cup oat bran¹ (1.88 mg)
1 tablespoon Ener-G Baking Soda (trace)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (1.275 mg)
1/2 cup chopped unsalted walnuts (1.2 mg)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (12.5 mg)
1 medium to large egg, (63 mg)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (.378 mg
3 cups Quaker quick oats or rolled oats (11.3 mg)
2 1/2 cups pitted dates (13.3 mg), or date bits, packed tightly, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, pureed with below ingredients* (2.67 mg)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon² (.606 mg)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (.378 mg)
Soak the dates or date bits in warm to hot water that just covers the dates. Do not cook or boil over stovetop. After 1-hour drain the water leaving just a bit with the dates.
Puree dates along with the cinnamon and vanilla. A dash of ground cloves often helps here. too.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Lightly grease a 8" x 11" pan or an 8" x 12" pan, dust with whole wheat pastry flour.
Combine the flour, oats, sugar, and walnuts stirring well with a wood spoon until mixed.
Stir in the softened butter. Stir in the egg.
Mix with your hands. Split oat/flour mixture in half. Press half the mixture down into the baking pan, distributing it evenly. We use an elongated metal pancake turner to flatten the first layer of oat mix. Then when putting
pureed dates in use the same turner to event distribute the dates and once again to even layer the top with the remaining oat mix.
Spread the date puree evenly over the oat/flour mixture on the bottom. Crumble the balance of the crust mixture over the top, spread evenly.
Bake at 350° F for about 38 to 40 minutes. We use a pizza cutter to slice into 25 or 33 pieces while still hot or warm. Let cool in pan on rack. Serve warm or cooled from pan. Store in refrigerator, let come to room temperature before serving.
¹You can process Quaker or any other oat with your own processor to make a finer bran.
²You can add more cinnamon to the filling if you like.