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Candied Orange Date Bars

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling

Makes

about 3 dozen

A good friend of mine gave me the recipe for these yummy, rich date bars. Chopped candied orange slices really make them special. I dip my kitchen shears in hot water to make cutting the orange slices a little easier.
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Ingredients

  • 1 package (7 ounces) orange candy slices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 pound chopped dates
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Cut orange slices horizontally in half, then into 1/4-in. pieces; set aside. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Stir in water until smooth. Add dates. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the baking soda, salt and remaining flour; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts.
  3. Spread half of the batter into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Spread date mixture over batter; sprinkle with reserved orange pieces. Spread remaining batter over the top.
  4. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
Editor's Note: To make cutting orange slices easier, use a kitchen shears dipped in water. Or first toss them in 1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar; use a mesh strainer or colander to shake off excess sugar.

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