Dates are a delicious staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, whether used as a pick-me-up mid-afternoon snack with a demitasse cup of coffee, the first menu item served to break a religious fast, or the main ingredient in desserts.

My mom used to make date bars which were a great hit in our home when served at gatherings, or as the obligatory sweet offered with coffee when guests dropped in.

Preheat oven to 325. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat one at a time. Add vanilla and salt. Mix in flour, baking powder, nuts and dates. Spread mixture into well greased 9 by 9 pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool completely. Cut bars and roll in powdered sugar.

For a more middle eastern flavor, substitute 2 tsps of orange blossom water for vanilla.

Have you ever eaten dates?

2 T butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla or 2 tsp orange blossom water

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

2 cups finely cut up dates

Date Bar Ingredients

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