a nice evening for a date: chewy date-nut squares

During the summer I had an unabashed addiction to Larabars. Raw, natural and delicious, I was partial to the Cherry Pie, Chocolate Mint and the Chocolate Coconut bars but didn’t want to spend all my hard-earned cash on those pricey treats. So instead I headed to the grocery store, bought a bag of dates and figured I’d make my own. Unfortunately, when I got home I realized that making Larabars would probably necessitate the use of a food processor (which I don’t have) and I didn’t feel like finely mincing up dates by hand. What can I say, I can be a lazy bugger at times. Instead, I put those dates away in the cupboard for a less labour intensive use. Weeks had gone by and I kept those dates on the brain. I began to think about making some traditional oatey date squares, or matrimonial cakes, as they are sometimes known as but I never remembered to ask my mom for her traditional recipe. Instead, I made these chewy, nutty squares that resemble a chewy blondie rather than a traditional date square. Not only do these use applesauce in place of butter, but along with a pot of hot tea, it helps to take the chill off a damp evening. It may not be raw or low fat (damn, those nuts!), but these bars are delicious. Yum.

13 comments to “a nice evening for a date: chewy date-nut squares”

  1. 1
    Jennifer   September 15, 2006 at 10:21 am

    Yum! I love dates and I bet this is just delicious!

  2. 2
    Joanne   September 15, 2006 at 1:49 pm

    I read your post on Larabars a while ago and went in search of them. I bought a few flavours to try out and was hooked!

    I currently have 12 Larabars in my kitchen cupboard in all kinds of flavours…the beau and I really like ’em and I’ve been very protective of my favourites…banana cake, chocolate coconut, pecan pie…

    Who would have thought that dates can taste that good. I never really acquired a liking to dates. I once had a date square and did not like it at all. Way too sweet and sticky.

    Now that I’m on my restricted meal plan, guess who is revisiting dates?! :^D

  3. 3
    christianne   September 15, 2006 at 6:27 pm

    I love Larabars! How can you not? I’m a big fan of the Apple Pie…

  4. 4
    bongomama   September 15, 2006 at 7:04 pm

    Larabars rock – Plus they are located in Denver and the people there are super cool. They are totally worth your support and hard earned dollars.

  5. 5
    lara stein pardo   September 16, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    these sound really great, especially since rosh hashanah is coming up this week!

  6. 6
    kickpleat   September 17, 2006 at 11:35 am

    jennifer, they totally were! i gave my mom the recipe and she made them without sugar and said it was perfect.

    joanne, i agree, dates are pretty great!

    christianne, i haven’t tried that flavour yet! i’ll definitey put on my list of flavours to try.

    k, good to know! thanks.

    lara stein, i didn’t think about that at all. a very good treat indeed!

  7. 7
    emeraldtiger   September 19, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    oh, jeannette, i totally love larabars! i first tried one in the summer of 2003, a few months after they first came out. it just so happened that i discovered them while in denver (their birthplace). you’re right, though, they’re expensive. so for now i’m sticking to packing luna bars into my school bookbag on most days. the larabar will be an occasional treat. or i’ll keep an eye out here in case you decide to try making them and post a recipe. 🙂

  8. 8
    Lisa   September 21, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    I made these last weekend (thanks for the recipe!). My husband hates dates, but loved these bars. Quite yummy!

  9. 9
    Karen   October 1, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    I made these for my roomates when we found a package of dates in our pantry and OH MY GOODNESS they were delicious. Great recipe, I can’t get over how well it worked. I topped them with a little brown sugar and some oats. Do you think you could use the same method with different fruit/nut combos?

  10. 10
    kickpleat   October 1, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    emeraldtiger, i do love those lara bars and one day will try making one of my own!

    lisa, glad your date-hating husband gave these a shot! they’re pretty tasty.

    karen, i’d definitely try these with other fruits & nut combos. let me know how it goes!

  11. 11
    Rach   October 6, 2006 at 5:40 am

    Hey – just letting you know I gave these a try tonight and blogged my version. Made a few changes (as always!) but absolutely delicious and so easy. I’ll definitely be making these again!

    Go to ‘Thus Bakes Zarathustra’ if you’d like to check it out!

  12. 12
    Margaret Way   September 15, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Do you think the all purpose flour could be replaced with Gluten Free Flour in this recipe?

  13. 13
    kickpleat   September 15, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Margaret, I’ve never tried it out – but if you do, please let me know how it turns out! Thanks!

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