While I was growing up, I enjoyed my grandma's oatmeal bars every Christmas. This recipe reminds me of her and Christmastime as a child. And now I fix the bars for my family. —Nancy Hawkins, Brookville, Indiana
Grandma's Oatmeal Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Preheat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, combine dates, water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened and dates are tender, stirring constantly, 7-9 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, vanilla, baking soda, salt and almond extract. Cut in shortening until crumbly. Press half onto bottom of a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Carefully spread with date mixture.
Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over filling; press down gently. Bake until lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. If desired, serve with whipped cream.