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Author Notes: These were one of my best sellers at the farmers' markets! Sweet, slightly salted and chock full of texture, they make the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. —Samantha Ardry
Makes 1 - 8 x 8 inch pan
- 300 grams fresh dates (preferably Medjool)
- 130 grams almond butter (if the oil has separated, stir it well before measuring)
- 160 grams honey, brown rice syrup or maple syrup
- 100 grams olive oil, coconut oil or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 220 grams old fashioned oats
- 45 grams oat flour
- 110 grams sliced almonds
- 70 grams flax meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat a conventional oven to 350 F. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper, lightly grease it and set aside.
- Pit the dates and roughly chop them. Be careful doing this because they are sticky! If you are unable to find fresh dates, you can use dried dates. Boil a kettle and pour the hot water over the dates. Let them rehydrate for about 10 minutes, then drain and chop them. This will help bind the bars.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the chopped dates, almond butter, honey, olive oil and almond extract until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, almonds, flax meal, salt and cinnamon. f you don't have oat flour, just measure out 45 grams of oats and whiz them in a blender or food processor. Add these to the stand mixer and beat until everything is well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the greased pan and press it in with your fingers until the batter is evenly distributed. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven until the edges are golden brown. Let the pan cool on a rack. I recommend popping the bars in the freezer until firm before you cut them - this will ensure you have crisp edges.