Grandma's Decadent Date Bar Cookie Recipe | Vintage, Paint and more...

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Grandma's Decadent Date Bar Cookie Recipe

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Only 9 days until Christmas, and at our house, that means the baking frenzy has begun.  Every year I spend a couple of days baking cookies and making candies with my grandkids - this is one of our fondest traditions.  When they were young they would help as they could with the stirring, the cutting out of cookies and putting the sprinkles and colored sugars on the cookies. I remember how much fun they would have decorating those cookies and making them "perfect".   We even tried the gingerbread house making a few times - with our share of house disasters, lol.    Now, that they are young adults, they do most of the baking and I do the sprinkling of colored sugars while enjoying the time spent with them.  We drink lots of coffee and hot chocolate and laugh and talk and reminisce about past cookie baking days.  It is a day we all look forward to.
Vintage Paint and more - a not too sweet bar cookie made with a delicious date and nut filling your family will love

My families favorite of all the recipes we make are these decadent Date Bar Cookies made from a recipe my Mother made every year.   I remember my Mother would make several batches of these because they just didn't last much longer than the day they were baked.  Now, these are my families favorite and every year they start asking right after Thanksgiving - "When are you baking the Date Bars?" - they just can't wait.  And when we do start baking they are hanging around the stove like vultures for the first batch to come out of the oven.  Needless to say, they don't cool very long before they are devoured.

Grandma's Decadent Date Bar Cookie Recipe

Vintage Paint and more - a delicious bar cookie made with a date and nut fill that make a wonderful food gift for family and friends

I'm not sure how old this recipe is - I just know that my Mother made it when I was a little girl and her Mother made it for her when she was a little girl.  So, it's at least 4 generations or more old. 
This is a delicious cookie with a not too sweet cookie base filled with a wonderful date and nut filling.  


 Grandma's Decadent Date Bar Cookies

Cookie dough base:

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 cups flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together.  Turn out on a floured pastry sheet and roll out to 1/8 inch thick.  You will need to lightly dust the top of the dough with flour to keep the rolling pin from sticking to it.  


1 pound of dates finely cut
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

  1. Cook all together until thick. 
  2. Let cool. 
  3. Spread on cookie dough that you rolled out.  
  4. Sprinkle with chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts), as desired.  
  5. Roll up like a jelly roll, wrap in parchment paper and then aluminum foil to keep the dough from drying out.
  6. Place in refrigerator overnight. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
  7. Cut in slices approximately 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Cook at 375* for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. Place on cooling rack until cool    

Then stand back so as not to get hurt in the stampede your family will start to get to them.  

Vintage Paint and more - a deliciously decadent cookie made with a sweet date and nut filling

My boys have always loved these and when they lived across the country away from us I had to mail them a couple of batches every Christmas.  I have heard stories of how they did not share well with others and these became breakfast, snacks and sometimes even lunch go-to for them.  They are a decadent treat enjoyed with a great cup of hot coffee for an afternoon break.  And, they are so delicious you can give them as gifts to your friends and neighbors.  Just stack a few up, wrap with some parchment paper, and tie with a bit of baker's twine.  Then place them in a pretty little bag and pass them out - guaranteed they will be asking you for more or for the recipe.  

Vintage Paint and more - a deliciously decadent cookie made with a sweet date and nut filling

So, have you begun your baking or are you already done?  What is your families favorite Christmas cookie?  I love to hear from you so tell me about it in the comments below. 

Until next time have fun creating something you love.

I will be joining the parties listed on the Where I Party page.  Please be sure to visit them as you will find all kinds of great inspiration and projects at each one.  

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  1. These look delish!! GREAT gift idea! I hope you join us at Reader Tip Tuesday (the party is open and growing all week):
    Hope to see you there...

  2. This is a date bar to end all date bars! Yum!! #happynowlinkup

  3. I cannot wait to be able to print this recipe and make these YUMMM !!!!!! I do not see a save button or link to send by E mail :-(
    Thank you for sharing and a Merry Christmas to you :-)

  4. Woah - these look amazing! Thanks for sharing with Party in Your PJs!

  5. Cathy, me and the girls in our family have our annual baking day each year as well. It's such a fun family tradition! Growing up we had date bars that I loved. Can't wait to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  6. These look delicious :) Yummy.

    Thanks for sharing at The Christmas blog hop.