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Date-Pecan Bars

These chewy, sweet bars are a great alternative to fruitcake -- but they don't contain any alcohol, making them a kid-friendly holiday treat.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 18
Date-Pecan Bars

Source: Everyday Food, December 2003


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan; place it in the pan, then butter the paper.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in dates and nuts.

  3. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely on a wire rack. Run a knife around edges to loosen, then cut it into bars using a serrated knife. To cut the baked dough into 18 bars, make 3 cuts horizontally and 6 cuts vertically.


You can substitute an equal amount of walnuts for the pecans. If you'd prefer another dried fruit, try using raisins. If you use a dark-colored baking pan to bake these bars, you need to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Reviews (3)

  • Km8889 24 Dec, 2014

    Very good! Looks, smells and tastes great. They're like a sophisticated blondie (w/o chocolate chips) as opposed to a fruit bar with date filling. There is also a natural and mild butterscotch flavor to them. I'd make them again and I'd follow the recipe exactly. I often alter recipes slightly, but I followed this one to a tee. I almost didn't toast the pecans, but thought better of it and I'm glad I did. All of the ingredients come together nicely.

  • Stoneski28 16 Dec, 2012

    Had to repost. Tried this again. They came out wonderfully. Don't know what happened the first time I tried this recipe.

  • Stoneski28 15 Dec, 2012

    I've made many, many of Martha's cookie recipes and loved every one, but there's something wrong with this one. It came out a gooey mess. I think the proportion of flour to sugar is off.

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