Saturday, 8 August 2015

Oat & Hazelnut Date Bars

Having some dates waiting to be used, as I bought too many when making sticky toffee pudding I decided to use them up by making some Date Bars.  I wanted a nice crumbly bar with a layer of soft and sticky dates in the middle.   So to accomplish this I decided to use some oats and chopped hazelnuts.

The recipe below is not overly complicated but it does have quite a few ingredients. It also takes a while to make, since you need to allow the dates to cool after boiling them with some other ingredients to get the nice soft and sticky texture.  

The resultant bars are very tasty and nice and crumbly too.  I am very pleased with them, despite the fact that they don't look to be the prettiest things.
Oat & Hazelnut Date Bars
Ingredients:
For the date mixture:
450 g pitted dates, chopped
200 g caster sugar
125 ml water
zest of one lemon finely grated
zest of one orange finely grated

For the crumble mixture:
225 g plain flour
120 g rolled oats
220 g dark brown muscovado sugar
225 g butter, melted
110 g chopped hazelnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
Icing sugar for dusting the tops.

Method:
In a medium saucepan bring the dates, sugar, water, lemon zest and orange zest to the boil. 
Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 170 C /150 C Fan Gas 3/340 F. 
Grease a 20x30cm baking tin.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, bicarbonate of soda, dark brown soft sugar and cinnamon. 
Stir in the hazelnuts and melted butter until you have a crumbly mixture. 
Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared tin. 
Spread the date filling evenly over the base. 
Crumble the rest of the crust mixture over the filling and pat down slightly.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes.
Cut into bars while warm and then allow to cool completely
Carefully remove the slices from the tin.
Dust with icing sugar.

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