This post is part of the 31 Days to a Handmade Christmas series.
Yesterday I shared a recipe for what is my family’s quintessential Christmas cookie. Every year we iced those cookies by the dozens and ate them by the same.
When gifting the cookies, they were almost always paired with date nut bars.
Compared to the time required to bake and ice cookies, the date nut bars were a breeze. And even to children who had no idea of what a date was apart from the cardboard box they were purchased in, chopped and ready to go, these were a delicious treat to be eaten every time you neared the kitchen.
Now I know what a date looks like in it’s whole form, though I am still foggy on some of the other particulars. And my choice of ingredients is a little different than it was back then. So consider this recipe an homage to the bars of my childhood. A healthy(er), melt-in-your-mouth, homage.
Date & Pecan SquaresPrint
- 8 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 C coconut oil
- 1/3 C honey
- 1 C chopped dates
- 1 C chopped pecans
- 3 C puffed rice cereal, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- powdered sugar (optional)
1. Set aside 1 C of puffed rice cereal as is. Chop remaining 2 cups of rice cereal in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
2. Melt the butter and oil in a medium-size sauce pan. Add honey and stir until blended. Stir in dates and pecans. Stir in all of the rice cereal. Continue stirring until the dates, pecans and cereal are thoroughly coated with the butter mixture.
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
4. Pour the contents of the pan into a long glass Pyrex. With a piece of foil or wax paper, press down on the bars until they are evenly distributed in the pan and packed tight. Let cool.
5. (Optional: top with powdered sugar). Slice into squares and serve.
Want more handmade gift ideas?
You can also find a list of all the handmade gifts on the series page.