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
grams fresh dates (preferably Medjool)
grams almond butter (if the oil has separated, stir it well before measuring)
grams honey, brown rice syrup or maple syrup
grams olive oil, coconut oil or canola oil
teaspoon almond extract
grams old fashioned oats
grams oat flour
grams sliced almonds
grams flax meal
- 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.