November 17, 2007

Date-filled Bars

I really should dedicate this month to Food Blogging Events and all involved in this Community. So here's to you all.
I have been sending off most of my entries to events! When I started my blog, I really did not have much of a plan about the “how, what and when” of my posts. I decided to complete my first month of posting by being a part of food events.
Dates were to be the fruit for the month at AFAM. I had a box of seedless dates in the fridge and decided to try out a recipe from my “Waiting To Be Tried Out” collection.
These bars look a bit complicated to make but really are not. The process can be split up over two or three days, if need be. I made the filling the first day, the dough the next and did the actual putting together and baking on the third day!!
These bars have a soft filling and the real flavour comes through only the day after they are

½ cup butter, softened
A little less than ½ cup each of granulated sugar and
powdered jaggery/ brown sugar
(I prefer jaggery as it is not as sweet)
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
¼ cup toasted wheat germ
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

For the filling:
2 cups seedless dates, lightly packed
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tbsps lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel

Using an electric mixer (or by hand), beat the butter, jaggery and sugar till creamy. In a separate bowl, stir together both the flours, wheat germ, baking soda and salt. Add this to the butter-sugar mixture blending well. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate till next day at least 1 hour).

Chop the dates and walnuts finely in a food processor. It should be crumbly in texture. Put in a pan with the sugar, water, lemon juice and peel and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till thick. This should take about 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Divide into 6 portions.

Putting it all together!
Divide the dough into 2 portions. Work with one and keep the other in the fridge. Roll out the dough, using flour to prevent it from sticking, into a rectangle of about 7 by 12 inches. (This is what my rectangle measured.) Use a ruler to neaten the sides of the rectangle. Cut this rectangle into 3 strips widthwise. In the centre of each strip spread the date filling lengthwise. Using a spatula or knife fold the sides over the filling so they overlap slightly. Press down lightly. Repeat this with the second portion of dough.
Now you would have 6 long tubular rolls with date filling. Cut each roll into 2 halves. Now there would be 12 shorter rolls. Place these, joined sided facing down, on a greased sheet and bake at 190 C/ 375 F for about 20 minutes or till they brown. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Then cut each bar in to 3 or 4 pieces. I cut them into 3. Allow to cool completely and store.
This recipe would give you 36 or 48 bars, depending on how you cut them.

I am sending this over to Chandrika at Akshayapatra for November’s AFAM-Dates


PASSIONATE BAKER....and beyond. said...

Hi Aparna, Thanks for dropping by my blog. Hve just read yr date post and loved it. Thought I must write to you. Yes, half my time also goes in blogevents which are such a boon, coz they give loads of direction!! I love to bake...have just baked some biscotti which is really tasty. Will hopefully post it tomorrow when the pics are clicked...:0)

Vcuisine said...

Aparna, thanks for dropping and the date bars are so professional. Viji

aparna said...

Thanks. Will drop by.

Pearlsofeast said...

Aparna , The date bars are great and I have bookmarked it. Lovely blog.