Maple Date Bars

Alana

My grandparents are snowbirds, and fly down to Dessert Hot Springs (in California) every winter. Turns out they started to dry their own dates, and brought some for all of the family when they came back! I’m generally not a big date eater, so I was going to let my mom have at’em… until I remembered that I saw a recipe for homemade Fig Newtons (apparently just “Newtons” now) in the Cookiepedia! I figured that dried dates were pretty close to dried figs, and that the substitution would be straight forward. Low and behold, there was a variation of the recipe using dates and maple syrup! Perfect!

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When I was quite young, I remember have blocks of dried dates at our house for baking purposes. I’ve never baked with dried whole dates before, so I was rather unimpressed when I discovered that all of the dates had a big seed inside. They weren’t particularly difficult to get out, but things did get rather sticky. Thank you dates.

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The recipe instructions called for the edges of the rolled-out dough to be cut off. This makes a nice square to work with, but leaves quite a bit of extra dough behind. I figured I may as well bake it, but wasn’t sure what it would be like on it’s own considering it was meant to be paired with the dates/figs. I decided to boil up some raspberries they same way I prepared the dates. I love raspberries, but really the only reason I picked them was that they were what I happened to have in my freezer at the time. 

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I just rolled the extra dough into balls (I made 6), and pushed my thumb in to make wells for the raspberry mush. The raspberries are definitely much more tart than the dates (it was a given), but also made for good eats.

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