Old-fashioned date and walnut biscuit bars

Sep 10, 2021
These old-fashioned date and walnut biscuit bars remind us of a simpler time. Source: Getty Images

There are some foods that when cooked fill the home with a delicious smell and creates a feeling of warmth and comfort. Think of the smells of soups and stews in winter, or a roast cooking on a Sunday afternoon. What about the smell of biscuits baking in the oven. Ah, yes! These delightful date and walnut biscuit bars are like a sensory invitation to come inside, pop the kettle on and indulge in a cuppa.

I wonder if this feeling is brought about because they remind me of a time from years gone by. The days where friends would just ‘stop by’ because they were in the area, no need to call in advance or schedule in a gathering months in advance. When did life become so complicated?

These date and walnut biscuit bars are perfectly balanced. They are light and sort of crispy on the outside, while still being nice and chewy. They have a delicious butterscotch flavour from the dates mixed with the crunchy texture of the walnuts. They are the type of snack that will be enjoyed by many. And, they can be frozen and saved for later.

Makes 35-40

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened but not melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole dried dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a 33cm x 23cm baking pan by spraying with cooking spray and/or lightly, but thoroughly flouring the bottom.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a second medium bowl, combine sugar and butter until butter is completely incorporated into the sugar. The mixture will be crumbly, similar to wet sand. Add eggs, water and vanilla, and stir until thoroughly combined. Add dates and walnuts and stir again to distribute evenly.
  4. Put flour mixture on top of the sugar mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. The dough will be very thick and sticky.
  5. Spread the dough into the pan, pushing and flattening it until it’s an even thickness (dough will only thinly cover the entire pan).
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  7. Let cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack before cutting. Cut into rectangles (roughly 2cm wide x 6cm long) or squares.

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