Maryann Esposito’s Date Nut Bars

Maryann Esposito's Date Nut Bars.JPG

“There’s no need to change this oldie but goodie recipe! It’s perfect! Maryann Esposito of Ciao Italia writes: “No holiday visit to Mom’s was ever complete without her sending me home with a box of her famous date bars. Of all her confections, this was the one that everyone craved the most.”

I am so glad I tried these! These are just how I like date nut bars… uncomplicated, unadorned, really chewy and really good! If you are a date lover, you have to make this easy recipe. My preference is to roughly hand chop the dates rather than buy them diced. Maryann’s recipe calls for a 10-inch square pan. I changed it to a 9-inch square pan and adjusted the time. Enjoy!”

Makes 16 bars


1-1/2 tablespoons flour,  for coating the dates and walnuts
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups diced dates
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar,  for sprinkling


1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
2. Put the 1 ½ tablespoons of flour into a small bowl. Toss in the dates and walnuts and stir to coat them well with the flour. Set aside. The flour coating prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the pan.
3. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan for easy lifting later. Butter the foil on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, then dust it with flour, or use a non-stick baking spray.
4. Into a small bowl, sift the ½ cup of flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla until blended.
6. Fold in the flour mixture and then fold in the coated dates and walnuts.
7. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top and firm to the touch.
9. Cool completely on a wire rack. Lift the edges of the aluminum foil and place the date nut bars onto a board to cut into squares. Sprinkle the tops with confectioner’s sugar. Store the date nut bars covered on top of the counter.
Great to make ahead! Freeze them (without the confectioner’s sugar on top) for up to 3 months.





Categories: Bars and Squares, Desserts

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