Larry and my husband were close friends from such early days that Alan can’t ever remember not being friends. They lived across the street from each other, rode the school bus together, and roomed together during part of college. Larry and his wife, Kari, even ended up at the same university where Alan and I were in grad school one year, and Kari and I used to swim together and dream about what our babies would be like, since we were both pregnant with our firstborn (sons) at the same time! Now, years later, we’re living in the same community again—also with my closest friend from school days, Brenda (and her husband Tom), which is super fun!
Often when we get together, Kari brings some delectable dessert, but a few weeks ago Kari was at a medical meeting and couldn’t make it to our dinner party, so Larry brought a dessert that had been a favorite when he was growing up. The recipe is so old he hasn’t a clue where it came from, but Alan also remembered loving date bars when he was little (growing up in the same rural community), and Tom (Brenda’s husband, also a farm boy growing up) remembered them from his childhood as well. I loved the salty, sweet, buttery flavor, so I thought you might too! Thank you for sharing, Larry!!
Old-Fashioned Date Bars
For the date filling:
- In a medium sized sauce pan, mix 3 cups of cut up dates, ½ cup of sugar, and 1 ½ cups of water.
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened.
- Set aside to cool.
For the crust/crumble:
- In a bowl, mix together thoroughly ¾ cup butter (softened) and 1 cup of brown sugar.
- Sift and stir in 1 ¾ cups flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt
- Stir in 1 ½ cups of rolled oats.
Place half the mixture on the bottom of the baking pan and pat the mixture down (9” x 13” pan if you want thin date bars or 8” x 8” or so if you want thick date bars. I think I used a 6 ½ “ x 9” pan and it seemed a bit too thick to me).
Spoon the cooled date mixture onto the crust/crumble in the pan and spread evenly. Then spread the remainder of the crust/crumble mixture evenly onto the date filling.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Happy Thanksgiving!!