A good friend of mine gave me the recipe for these yummy, rich date bars. Chopped candied orange slices really make them special. I dip my kitchen shears in hot water to make cutting the orange slices a little easier.
- 1 package (7 ounces) orange candy slices
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 pound chopped dates
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Confectioners' sugar
- Cut orange slices horizontally in half, then into 1/4-in. pieces; set aside. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Stir in water until smooth. Add dates. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the baking soda, salt and remaining flour; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts.
- Spread half of the batter into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Spread date mixture over batter; sprinkle with reserved orange pieces. Spread remaining batter over the top.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: about 3 dozen.
Originally published as Candied Orange Date Bars in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2006, p61
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