It’s almost Christmas, people, and I am both way behind and way ahead.
Let me clarify.
Things I am behind on: shopping, shipping, baking, planning, wrapping.
Things I am ahead on: eating.
Okay, that’s only one thing, but I am WAY ahead.
I’m a real overachiever. Don’t be jealous.
I figure I have lots of time after the New Year to work out. Right now, the only thing getting a work out is my favorite pair of stretchy pants. I blame my sister-in-law for all this overeating, or, more specifically, my sister-in-law’s Date Bars. I was introduced to them at Thanksgiving, when my mother “innocently” handed me the recipe and asked me to make a pan.
I am almost ashamed to admit I have eaten two pans of them since. I would be truly ashamed if they weren’t so delicious, but since they are I can only be a little bit sorry.
Go ahead. Put on your stretchy pants and get baking!
- 1½ cups water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 16 oz. pitted, chopped dates
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into ½" pieces
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups old-fashioned oatmeal
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Grease a 9 x 13 pan with butter. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the water, granulated sugar and dates together until they create a thick sauce, stirring almost constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, salt and baking soda. Use a pastry blender or two forks to thoroughly mix the ingredients until they are crumbly.
- Press half the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan, using your fingers to pat it until it forms a solid base.
- Spread the cooked date mixture evenly over the base.
- Sprinkle the remaining dry mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool before cutting into bars.