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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.

Cook's Note

Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week.

Reviews (3)

  • DaphneMarie0621 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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