Archive for March, 2011

Lemon Ginger Date Bars! (And my baby!)

Well, this week was chaotic, to say the least. There are about three posts I’ve been meaning to upload, but sadly my crazy schedule did not leave me any time! Hopefully I can get ahead this weekend and get them up soon!

SO, without further ado, here’s my latest homemade treat:

Lemon Ginger Date Bars! Yum-O!

 

These bars are perfect for a mid morning or afternoon snack! The process couldn’t be any simpler and there are only five ingredients! I used to detest dates (and prunes for that matter) because of their slimy texture, but they are so delectably sweet! Who knew? My roommates have become good friends with some Saudi Arabian foreign exchange students who always have dates at their apartment. A few weeks back when I went over, they offered me some and refusing is a BIG no no since it is seen as rude and insulting. So, I smiled politely, waveringly accepted, and thanked them. HA! And little ole stubborn me actually liked them! Then of course my next thoughts were where can I buy these and what can I make with these? I found and adapted this recipe from my faaaaaavorite blog I’ve found to date, it’s called the Edible Perspective. Dates work so well in these bars since they help sweeten them up ever so slightly while also giving them a great sticky, chewy consistency. Plus, the ginger powder and lemon give it a nice fresh kick ;)

Lemon Ginger Date Bars (yields about 10, 1” x 3” x 1/2” bars)

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup lightly packed ground pitted medjool dates (~10-14, depending on size and dryness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest (the bright yellow part only)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

    Zee ingredients...gotta love those 3lb bags of nuts from Costco!

  1. Grind almonds with a food processor, until mealy, and measure out 1 cup.  (A little over 1 cup of whole almonds will yield about 1 cup of ground almonds).
  2. Empty ground almonds into a bowl.
  3. Put dates into the empty processor and process until very small sticky pieces are left.
  4. Combine almonds with dates, add ginger and lemon zest.
  5. Pulse until well combined. (~10-15 pulses)
  6. Add lemon juice and pulse again, until combined.
  7. If the mixture can hold together when you try to form a ball then it’s done!  If not pulse a few more time and test again.  If it’s still not working, you probably need a few more dates.  Start with 2-3.  Empty the contents of the food processor and processed 2-3 dates.  Add combined mixture back in and pulse.  Test again to see if it holds together.
  8. Form into a large ball and place on a large sheet of saran wrap.
  9. Cover the top of the ball with the saran and start to press out, shaping with your hands. Or you can use a rolling pin.

    Impromptu rolling pin? I think yes!

  10. Flatten and shape into desired shape.
  11. Cut, wrap in saran, and store in the fridge.

Quick side notes:

  1. You really really really should use medjool dates!!! They are sticker and sweeter than most other dates, especially deglet dates (which of course I bought and used, forgetting to read the ingredient list specifically-oops!)
  2. These bars can be rolled into balls if you so desire, or can be cut into shapes or objects by cookie cutters too!
  3. Also, a giant salt grinder can double beautifully as a rolling pin if you are too cheap to buy one.

Oh, I almost forgot! Have you met my baby? Her name is Sunny. She’s loud, colorful, flexible, and always ready for a challenge! Here she is, my pride and joy!

Wait, I’m sorry, what? You thought I meant  a baby! Goodness no! I’m not quite at that point in my life. Haha, well, I got this sucker at Sur La Table for half off!!! It was a steal, and I’m totally in love with it! You can’t even imagine how many doors you open up to new recipes and creations once you own a food processor! She only holds 4 cups, but that’ll do just fine for now :) While at Sur La Table, I also picked up the cutest lemon saver ever!

It’s dishwasher safe, airtight, and beats dried out lemons or wasting plastic bags! I may or may not have also bought an onion version. And it may or may not be even cuter. But you’ll never know, muhaha! Plus I scored a little microplane with an attached container and two different size attachment graters for only two bucks! And it’s green!

Well, that’s it for now! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Shalom and good eats!

Caitlin

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