Date Bars No. 2
I’ve been eyeing Date Bars No. 2 for some time now as I’ve made Dream Bars No. 1 and just love them! It’s always amazing to me how different recipes with the same basic ingredients can be…in this case, even the recipe name is the same, but the cookies are completely different! Both wonderful in their own way, of course!
Dream Bars No. 2 are a cake type bar cookie versus a more typical cookie crust with fruit on the top cookie like Dream Bars No. 1. Dream Bars No. 2 mix the dates and nuts into the cookie dough, which is actually more like a cake batter. The butter, brown sugar, and vanilla mixed together with the chopped dates and nuts are the perfect combination! The baking soda help the cookie cake rise into an awesome cake like cookie…thank you Grandma Bess!
I’m rating Dream Bars No. 2, 2-stars for cookie baking difficulty. The extra steps of making the sour milk, along with chopping the dates and nuts add a bit more time and effort . Other than chopping the dates and nut, the recipe is easy to mix together, spread in the baking pan, and cut into bars.
It was easy to pull all the ingredients together. I have gotten in the habit of keeping fresh dates and lemon juice in my baking pantry, so I was set to go without an extra trip to the grocery store.
The recipe calls for sour milk. Easy to make! Google tells me to add 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk. I decided to use lemon juice this time around to stay consistent with the 1 teaspoon of lemon juice I would be adding a bit later.
Dates are not the easiest to chop up. They stuck well to my fingers and my paring knife 🙂 I needed to wash the date goo off my hands a couple times!
The recipe calls for 1 cup of chopped dates. After chopping about 2/3 of the 8-ounce package, my baking cup was filled up. I decided to chop the rest even if it was more than a cup. I figured, the more the dates the tastier!
Mixing the dough together was interesting. There is a good amount of liquid in the recipe, so I wasn’t sure how the final cookie dough was going to end up. This is about the time I figured a more cake like batter was coming.
I love this cookie batter! The texture from the dates and nuts partnered with the creamy vanillay color is just beautiful! I couldn’t wait to taste the finished cookies!
The cookie batter was rich and creamy and relatively easy to spread in the baking pan.
I spread the batter evenly in the pan with a small rubber spatula.
The recipe says to use a shallow pan. The shallowest pan I have is a jelly roll pan. I figured the recipe would specify a jelly roll pan if that was what should be used, so I decided to use a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. This turned out to be a good decision!
The cookies rose quite a bit while baking in the oven.
I baked the cookies the full 30 minutes in my oven. Just look at the rich color of the baked cookie cake!
After cooling the cookies completely, I cut them into bars and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Just take a look at the wonderful texture! You can see the cakey texture along with the bits of dates and nuts. I love the sprinkled sugar on top, it’s a nice touch!
The bar cookies crumbled some when taking them out of the baking pan. But in general stayed together as I moved them to the cooling rack.
If you are a date lover, you are going to flip over Dream Bars No. 2! A cake like bar cookie that tastes like your favorite date cookie or cake. Easy to make, Dream Bars No. 2 look great and taste even better! I hope you will try them!
Date Bars No. 2
½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sour milk
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add sour milk, add sifted dry ingredients, beating well. Add vanilla, add dates, nuts and lemon juice. Beat well. Spread ½ inch thick in greased shallow pan. Bake at 350 degrees 25 to 30 minutes. Cut in bars when cool and dust with confectionery sugar.
Makes about 4 - 5 dozen bar cookies
Cookie Category: Bar