Oh my goodness, date are real treasures to us, and I ALWAYS make date bars when I can find them. Hubby is crazy about them, and we have a good friend who would commit a crime in order to get his hands on them...here's the recipe:
JERRY AND SEAN’S DATE BARS
1 pound dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped (lightly toasted) walnuts
1 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting
In a medium saucepan bring the dates, sugar, water, lemon zest and orange zest to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together the rolled oats, flour, baking soda, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the walnuts and melted butter. Mixture will be somewhat crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the date filling evenly over the crust. Crumble the rest of the crust mixture over the filling, and pat down slightly.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Cut into bars while warm. Dust with confectioners' sugar when cooled.