I make these chewy bars around the holidays because they make a nice-size batch for my family. Plus, they keep well in the refrigerator, so I can make them when it's convenient.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cups crisp rice cereal
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, combine the dates, sugar and butter; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup hot mixture to egg; return all to pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in cereal, nuts and vanilla. Spread over crust. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a small bowl, combine frosting ingredients; beat until creamy. Frost bars; cut and store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Crispy Date Bars in Best of Country Cookies 1999, p87
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