I grew up in a family with eight children, and I started baking for our big family at age 10. Today, decades later, I still enjoy baking pies, cakes, strudels and bars. These date treats are very easy to bake, and one sheet of them will yield 48 good-sized bars. I sometimes add nuts, coconut or candied fruit. This dessert is great to take to a church bazaar or any group function. In the 1940s, I managed a Pittsburgh school cafeteria that fed 420 students ever day, so I can recall a thing or two
I received this recipe from a special co-worker at school, and it is always a huge success when I make them. It works great to make them a day in advance. It will allow the bars to set and be cut easier.
These sweet no-bake snacks are great energy bars. Any dried fruit works well, but I prefer cranberries. Grain cereals, plus honey, peanuts and peanut butter make the bars popular at my house.
-Kim Rocker of LaGrange, Georgia
Sue Thomas of Casa Grande, Arizona uses common pantry items to whip up these bars. Peanut butter combines with a cake mix for a tender crust. Then a rich layer of cream cheese is topped with chocolate chips and nuts before baking.
Since the meat loaves cook so quickly, your microwave will be free to fix sweet Coconut Macadamia Bars shared by Annette Lamle of Columbia City, Indiana.
"We found this recipe when working on our son Cody's 4-H microwave cooking project," she notes. "We made different versions of this treat 'til Cody decided which one he and his dad liked best. He ended up receiving Reserve Grand Champion for his efforts."
My great-grandmother created this recipe more than 100 years ago, so it's made many appearances at family parties. Make the treats even more fun for the holidays by using both red and green maraschino cherries. —Anne Mullen, Windsor, Ontario
Made in the microwave, these sweet and chewy bars can be stirred by very quickly. Loaded with caramel, chocolate, peanuts and peanut butter, they remind some folks of a candy bar. Kids of all ages love them. —Charlene Bennett
When you bring these treats to a gathering, guests will be tempted to start at the dessert table. Chock-full of chocolate and walnuts, they will satisfy any sweet tooth. I often make a second batch just for my family.
-Jennifer Eilts, Central City, Nebraska