These hearty squares are simple to make and wonderfully portable--they are perfect for packing in lunch boxes or for snacking in the car.
1/4 cup apple juice
6 whole pitted dates, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup golden cane syrup (such as Lyle's Golden Syrup)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°.
Line a 9-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper; coat with cooking spray. Place juice and dates in a food processor; pulse until dates are finely chopped.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in date mixture, syrup, and salt. Remove date mixture from heat. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in oats, cherries, chocolate, and sesame seeds. Spoon oat mixture into prepared pan. Using wet hands, carefully press the mixture into the corners of the pan.
Bake at 325° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Place pan in refrigerator; cool 20 minutes. Invert oat mixture onto cutting board; cut into 16 squares.
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As a kid age 9 my mom let me make these and I LOVE them! Make sure you use Lyle's golden syrup and let it sit over night before cutting. I like them for a snack and they are a really good type of bar. Good job Matisse! :-)
I found these squares to be delicious but I also had difficulty getting them to hold together. I followed the directions to a tee, even setting a timer for the 10 min to cool and then 20 min in the refrigerator. When I started to cut them I realized before even touching it, it had broken in half! So I put them back into the refrigerator for 2 hours and this seemed to help dramatically! I was able to break them into rough squares.
I read the other reviews & vowed to follow the directions to the letter given the crumbly outcome that was described. I did everything the recipe said to including the 2-phase, timed cooling and still the bars did not hold together. This recipe basically makes granola, not bars. It's not bad tasting, but it's definitely not easily portable the way the article described. And it's quite sweet for granola.
The flavors were good, but the directions were lacking. 6 dates? What size? 6 medjool dates are twice the amount of 6 dates you get in a package? Wasn't sure. After baking the mixture never really got hard enough to call a real square, too crumbly and sticky.
Bars didn't hold together too well. Also, the chocolate chips melted when the butter/date mixture was stirred into them. I would recommend adding them last or letting the butter/date mixture cool a little longer. Very tasty.