These moreish bars are called food for the gods but us mortals can have it as a treat. These bars are very popular in Philippine bakeshops but, judging from the ingredients, they are surely of foreign origin. They are so delicious but can only be had as a treat because both dates and walnuts are not grown in the Philippines and therefore not cheap. They are in fact sold as little bars wrapped in cellophane_taster or teaser portions.
If you don't want to make fruit cake, these bars are a worthy substitute. These treats are actually very easy to make. They are ideal for Christmas gift giving, wrapped individually in cellophane or baking paper or put them in a nice gift box. I have brushed some with edible gold dust for an opulent Christmas look. Wrap a band of unbleached baking paper tied with jute string if you are going for a rustic look. Anyway it's packaged, I'm sure it will be warmly received.
This recipe was adapted from The Best of The Maya Kitchen cookbook.
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3 medium sized eggs
3 tbsps. brandy
1 1/4 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. pitted and coarsely chopped dates
1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
Pre-heat the oven to 350° F/180° C. Line a 13"x9"x2" rectangular baking pan.
Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and blend well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the brandy. Add the chopped dates to the flour and mix very well. Separate the pieces and make sure that they are all coated with flour. This will keep them suspended in the batter on baking. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and walnuts and mix very well. Fold this mixture into the creamed mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 300° F/150° C and bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges. Cool slightly before cutting into bars. Leave to cool completely before wrapping or storing.
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