Almond and Date Pie Bars
Man what a visual let down after that beautiful TWD cake! Don't worry though, what this poor bar lacks in style, it makes up for in taste! I got this recipe from Paula Deen's Holiday Baking magazine which my darling Tweetie bought me. I can't say that I love Paula's show- but her recipes are usually very tasty. She calls these bars "Date and Mixed Nuts Bars" but I subbed in almonds for mixed nuts because lets face it almonds are the queen of nuts- don't you think? And as you already know I'm drawn to all recipes having to do with dates (because of a perhaps over-zealous chopped date purchase I made a few weeks ago).
Since last night was the first night we were able to cut off the air conditioner and open the windows, I feel like Fall has arrived. These bars really taste like Fall. They start of with a thin shortbread crust and are topped with a pecan pie textured mixture of almonds, dates, karo syrup, brown sugar- well I'll just type the recipe out:
Almond and Date Pie Bars or Date and Mixed Nuts Bars
2 cups ap flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter, dived
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 oz. chopped dates
11.5 oz. unsalted mixed nuts, chopped (I used almonds)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (I believe in liberal greasing so I slathered some Crisco on mine). In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 3/4 cup butter until mixture is crumbly. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned (mine went for about 20 min and it never got brown).
In a small bowl, place remaining 1/2 cup butter. Microwave on High for 30 seconds, or until melted. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and eggs. Add melted butter, stirring to combine. ( Ok so ground my almonds by hand- and let me tell ya- that was my daily upper body workout- fo' real- this nut mill is from the 70's).
Stir in dates, nuts, and vanilla. Pour mixture evenly over baked crust.
Bake for 33 to 35 minutes, or until center is set. Cool completely before cutting into bars.