Date-Pecan Bars

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edf_datebar.jpg
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Yield:
18

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

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan, room temperature

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar

  • cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup chopped pitted dates

  • ¾ cup toasted chopped pecans

Directions

  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.

Variations

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.

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