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

Susie56's Review

December 19, 2009
Fabulous! Not all that maple-y, but VERY tasty. A New favorite!

ChristineDC's Review

April 04, 2009
Why does the nutritional information for this recipe omit sugar? I'm sure it's very high.

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.

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.

Annelisa's Review

January 15, 2009
These were really good! I made a few changes to the recipe. I decreased sugar to 1/3 cup in the batter and used 3 tbs maple syrup in the date filling. I used 2 tbs butter plus 1/3 cup applesauce to replace the butter in the dough. I forgot to reserve some batter for the top, so I made a topping out of 1 cup quick oats, 2 tbs maple syrup, and 2 tsp butter. However, I think it would be better without the topping. There wasn't a lot of maple flavoring in these bars, but that's probably because I decreased the maple syrup. My sister, who says she doesn't like dates, loved these bars. I will definitely make these again.

noelle71's Review

April 20, 2013

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.

portland's Review

January 20, 2010
these bars went into my christmas platter last year. they were delicious. the filling is sweet, but the crumb cookie topping and base are the perfect foil. the dates are the star and i had several people inquire about it. i will add this to my cookie collection.

zimzam4's Review

January 28, 2010
My mom called these "the best ever." I agree about it putting it in a smaller baking dish so you can get a more substantial bar with a good amount of gooey date middle. I omitted the lemon because I didn't have it, but I don't think it detracted from the finished product in the least. Easy and delicious, especially when still warm from the oven. Yum.

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.