Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
20 servings (serving size: 1 bar)

Topped with a crumbly cookie topping, these bars are filled with gooey, fruity goodness and make a unique dessert for school parties. (Just be sure to save a few for yourself!)

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine dates, water, and maple syrup in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; cook 12 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. (Mixture will look like jam.) Stir in rind; cool completely.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 3

Beat sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture (mixture will be crumbly). Press 2 cups flour mixture into bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Spread date mixture over flour mixture. Sprinkle with remaining flour mixture. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Step 4


Chef's Notes

Wrap these moist bars individually, or place them in a cookie tin between layers of wax or parchment paper.

Ratings & Reviews

HersheyHome's Review

March 06, 2014
These were fantastic! I did make 1 and 1/2 the amount of the crumbs as when I put the 2 cups in the bottom of the pan, I had barely enough to "crumb" half of the top. Baked at 375 degrees (convection oven) for 15 minutes and the color/consistency of the crust was perfect!

HoneyBunny20's Review

January 17, 2014
Good way to use up dates I had. Tasty recipe but not something I would make again.

noelle71's Review

April 20, 2013

Ozcook's Review

January 22, 2012
I was looking for a recipe to use up some whole dates that were too dry to eat on their own. These turned out great! I spread 3/4 of the base in a larger pan, but didn't spread the mix right to the edges. I mixed the remaining topping with about 1/4 cup of roughly crushed almonds and pecans for some crunch. Unlike other comments, I didn't think these were overly sweet. I'll definitely be making these again.

AllisonMargaret's Review

November 07, 2011
Made these tonight. Yummy. I used 8 oz dates and when I added the lemon zest, I also added a tsp. of maple extract. My family thought they were very good. I cut the pan into 32 squares because of the "too sweet" comments and they are a nice two bite sweet.

sistercainsbro's Review

September 05, 2011
I loved this recipe! I did, however, take some of the other readers' advice and the result was a bar with the perfect amount of sweet. Here's what I did: I reduced the dates to 7oz (from 12oz) and the water to 2/3c (from 3/4c). I also reduced the sugar to 1/3c (from 2/3c). Some other notes that may be of interest: I took the suggestion to cook it in a 9x9 pan. I didn't like the thickness of the cookie base, so in the future, I will bake this in a 9x13 pan as directed. I also found that the maple syrup didn't come through as well as I'd hoped. I used pure maple syrup (grade a dark) from a mailorder place in Vermont (excellent quality) but the flavor was not apparent to me. Just a heads up if you are looking for the maple to be the main flavor. I think I'll experiment with maple sugar in the base next time. I also would suggest keeping the filling away from the edges of the pan when spreading it to avoid cooking it and making it rather hard and chewy.

annacaraballo's Review

September 03, 2011
Fantastic! I only used 7 oz of dates and sugar-free syrup and they were perfect. They almost didn't last one day with my son and husband.

cyndi2774's Review

May 30, 2011
I found these too be overly sweet. It might have just been my own personal tastes, but I won't be making them again.

SeniorDancer's Review

December 07, 2010
Served them for a ladies group and they were a big hit. I will be making these again.

Ramonammac's Review

November 16, 2010
A little too sweet with the dates for my taste but I make a fruit mix with pumpkin, apple, pear, berries; whatever fruit is available, cook it down until it is almost a paste and these turn out delicious. Dried figs are wonderful also when cooked and pureed. These are a favorite anytime.