Brown Butter Date Bars

Brown Butter Date Bars
Brown Butter Date Bars
 

Let's make a date!


 

Dates, often referred to as nature’s candy, are the most underestimated dried fruit probably already tucked away in your pantry. When simmered with water and citrus, they cook up like a dream producing a spread so luxurious you may double the batch for a little extra to smear on toast. When layered with the textured oats and nutty browned butter, these simple bars make what is basically a granola bar taste like a five-star dessert!

 

Photography taken by Michelle Williams

Chef Tip. This recipe makes 12 hefty bars that are perfect for weekday breakfast on-the-go, lazy brunch or a perfect homemade gift. While simple don’t underestimate how truly perfect a combination the naturally sweet, citrusy and browned flavors pair together. Prep and bake the date bars the day before if you have time but these are truly a cinch to throw together in the morning. 

 

Brown Butter Date Bars

RECIPE


 

TIME

PREP TIME: 10 minutes, divided

BAKE TIME: 25 minutes

COOK TIME: 5-10 minutes

COOL TIME: 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 50 minutes



YIELDS

8-16 squares depending on how big you cut them



INGREDIENTS

FOR THE FILLING

Pitted Dates (1 1/2 cups, roughly chopped)

Water (3/4 cup)

Orange or Lemon Zest (1 tsp, finely grated)



FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING

White Sugar (1/4 cup)

3 tbsp butter (will be melted and browned separately)

Rolled Oats (3/4 cup)

All-Purpose Flour (3/4 cup)

Ground Cinnamon (1/2 tsp)

Fresh Nutmeg (a few gratings)

Baking Soda (1/4 tsp)

Coarse Sea Salt (1/4 tsp)



KITCHEN ITEMS

Baking Dish

Parchment Paper

Saucepan

Large Mixing Bowl

TO MAKE YOUR BROWN BUTTER DATE BARS. heat oven to 400º.

Line the bottom and sides of your baking dish with parchment paper. 

In a small pan, melt butter and then turn heat to medium until browned about 6 minutes. Butter will do nothing but don’t worry! It will suddenly begin toasting and turning into a lovely light brown color. Turn flame off at the light-medium brown stage, the butter will continue to toast.

Combine dates, water and zest in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. The dates will absorb the liquid and thicken. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oats, flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined.

Add melted butter and mix it until it clumps like a crumb topping. 

Press half of the crumb topping into the bottom of your lined baking dish. Using the bottom of a measuring cup makes for a more evenly flat layer.

Dollop the date on top and spread a layer over the crumbs. 

Sprinkle remaining crumbs over the dates and, using your hands, press to cover them. 

Bake bars for 25 minutes, or until light brown at the edges.

Cool in baking dish.

Lift out using the parchment paper. 

Cut into squares and serve. 

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