~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chewy Date and Nut Bars...without butter.

Chewy Date and Nut Bars... without butter. Whilst looking for a quick snack bar that would be somewhat healthy, I chanced upon King Arthur Flour's Chewy Date and Nut Bars. The recipe was rather simple, and I noticed it required absolutely no butter. I rather liked the idea of not using butter... it would be a great dessert/snack...and dairy-free. While I do use dairy products, I felt this would be a wonderful recipe to have on hand... just because it allows you to bake even when you're all out of butter:).

While the recipe sounded really good just the way it was, I decided to change it up a bit. Didn't feel there was a need for 1 cup of sugar when there was also quite a bit of dates in the recipe... dates are rather sweet, so I felt confident enough to cut down the amount of sugar(maybe I could have cut it down further). I also didn't have any white flour in the house, so I decided I could just add some whole wheat flour, some ground up oatmeal, and a bit of unsweetened shredded coconut for flavor. I then substituted the walnuts with sliced almonds... only because I had a big bag of the sliced almonds and really wanted to use them up. But I'm thinking next time I'd love to use some pecans, just to see the difference.

Overall, the bars were a delicious treat... a cross between a granola bar, a blondie, and a Larabar.... all mixed into one. I simply loved the chewiness and moistness of these bars and prefer to cut the bars in smaller squares. It's a perfect kids' lunchbox treat, a picnic/potluck dessert, or even a quick snack-on-the-go. Hope you enjoy....

Note: While I chose to alter the original recipe, you can easily make the original version.... I've noted the changes below.

You will need: adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour*
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut*
1/4 cup finely ground oatmeal*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed( original used 1 cup)
1 cup (4 ounces) sliced almonds(original used walnuts)
1 cup (5 ounces) dates, chopped
* You can substitute a total of 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour for the whole wheat flour, coconut and oatmeal I used.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line an 8x8" glass baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, coconut, salt and baking powder.
2. In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs until they're lightened, then add the brown sugar and flour mixture, stirring until completely mixed, do not overmix.
3. Add the nuts and dates.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan... Batter is sticky and heavy.... you may need to wet your hand and smooth out the top...or use the back of a spoon that's been oiled.
5. Bake until the top is just golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean... 12-18 minutes. They are done when they are golden brown and the top of the bars is shiny. The center should be slightly moist and when tested with a toothpick... a few moist crumbs will remain. Overbaking will dry the bars out.
6. Cool them completely before cutting into small squares.
If desired, dust the tops with powdered sugar.


Susy said...

I loveeeeeeeeeee anything with dates and nuts!! this should be done soon!!! great recipe!!

Ellie said...

Susy, I'm hoping you will enjoy these bars:)... dates and nuts are a perfect combination. Loved these bars with the coconut and oatmeal, but you can easily use regular flour.
Thanks for stopping by...

Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying your blog and recipes, especially baked goods without butter. I made these bars, and they're delicious. Thanks!

Ellie said...

Anon, Oh, that's wonderful! I'm so glad you are enjoying the blog. It means a ton...
Thrilled that you tried out the recipe and liked it. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me share your feedback on the recipe. Appreciate it very much!