Monday, June 1, 2009

Whole Wheat Date Bars

When I read this recipe in Martha Stewart's Cookie cookbook, I thought it would make a good breakfast bar for Raven and it did. I love dates and eat them by the handful but was not sure if Raven would like them. She said they were great but Ransome did not care for them, he is not into "health food." This is What's Cookin on Beaty's Creek today.

for the filling:
2 1/4 cups dates
1/4 apple cider

for the dough:
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 t course salt
1/4 t baking soda
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 t finely grated lemon zest
10 T room temperature butter
1 egg
1/4 applesauce

1. Make filling: Bring dates and cider to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until dates are soft and almost all of the liquid has reduced, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely and then transfer to a food processor. Puree date mixture until smooth.

2. Make dough: Whisk together both flours, bran, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Put brown sugar and zest in a bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add butter; mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add egg and mix until fluffy. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with 2 batches of applesauce. Now divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic; shape into a rectangle. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours.

3. Preheat oven to 375'. Roll out one piece of dough between two pieces of floured parchment paper and place into a 9x13 pan. This is what I did because it was much easier. Now place date mixture on top of dough and place in the fridge until very firm. Now roll out the rest of the dough and place on top of date layer. I had to use flour dusted on parchment when I rolled the dough out. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Side note... Martha says the dough is a sticky one and this is true. She also says to fold the dough over on itself with the filling inside but I thought this was just too hard for me. This why I say a layer of dough, then dates, then dough in a 9x13 pan. To me, this method just worked better.