I have been thinking about replicating some date bars from one of my favorite coffee shops for about 10 years. I finally tried it out, using ideas from various bars I’ve made in the past, and it turned out excellent. And they’re the healthier,* gluten free, vegan version of the bars, and just as mouth wateringly amazing.
*Nope, still not a health food though. The crust still consists of about 80% butter.
Grease 9” x 9” baking sheet and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Date filling ingredients:
3/4 cup medjool dates
1/2 c. almonds
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegan butter – I use Earth Balance
1/2 c. coconut sugar
1 c. gluten free flour – could use a pre-made mix, but I use half oat half sorghum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c. rolled oats
Making the filling:
In a food processor, pre-chop almonds in food processor until fine, but not quite almond meal.
Separately, chop up dates in the processor until chunky. Scoop dates into saucepan and heat with 1 cup water over medium heat, until they firm up a bit. Stir in ground almond, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Take off heat and allow mixture to cool.
Making the Crust:
Cream together butter and sugar with a mixer until fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix into the butter mix. Add the rolled oats until mixture is crumbly but sticky.
Press half the oat mixture into greased baking sheet. Spread the date filling on top, and then crumble the remaining oat mixture on top – pressing lightly so it covers the whole dish.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes