Mom’s Date Bar Cookies

Makes 16 bars

Cake-like, light and chewy, this is a great little cookie to have with tea or coffee.


½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup, plus 1½ tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 large eggs at room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups diced dates (10 ounces)
1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
Confectioners’ sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch square pan, and dust with more flour (in addition to what’s listed above) or line the pan with aluminum foil and butter it. Set aside.

2. Combine the baking powder and salt in a bowl. Sift in ½ cup of the flour.

3. In another bowl, beat the eggs until they are foamy. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla, beating until well blended. Fold in the flour mixture.

4. In a small bowl, toss the dates and nuts with the remaining 1½ tablespoons of the flour. This method will prevent the dates and nuts from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking. Fold the date mixture into the batter.

5. Spread batter evenly in the pan. Bake 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown on top and firm to the touch. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

6. Cut into squares and sprinkle the tops with confectioners’ sugar.

Note: These can be made ahead and frozen without the confectioners’ sugar for up to 3 months. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar when ready to serve.

More of Mary Ann Esposito's recipes you may be interested in

Cuccidatu (Sicilian Fig Cookies)

Makes 2 dozen

Sicilian Chocolate Cookies from Modica

Makes 5 1/2 dozen

Sicilian Chocolate Spice Cookies

Makes about 28 large cookies

Mom’s Dried Cherry Cookies

Makes 4 1/2 to 5 dozen, depending on the size of your cookie cutter; you can make more by making these cookies mini-size.
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