These bars are great for school lunches and stay fresh for days, if they last that long.
Begin by cooking the dates and cranberries. Chop the dates first, which I failed to do.
When the mixture looks like this, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
While that's cooling, begin the pastry. You can do this in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
Mix together well.
Put about half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 12 or 13 inch pan, and pat down to form a crust.
Bake for about ten minutes.
Remove from oven and spread the cranberry-date mixture on top of the crust, spreading it to the edge with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle the remaining crust on top of the filling, and gently distribute and press to cover the filling. Bake for about 20 minutes.
This is so delicious, it won't last long.
Production notes: Please follow the recipe I've written out below for clarity.
Cranberry Date Bars
Preheat oven to 350 F
12 oz bag of cranberries
10 oz dried dates (chopped)
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 c. rolled oats
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. butter (two sticks) melted
2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. orange juice
Combine dates and cranberries and about 1/2 cup of water in a medium saucepan over low heat. (If it seems too dry, add a bit more liquid) Cover, but stir often, and cook for about ten minutes (or longer) until the cranberries crack and the dates disintegrate. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in melted butter until well blended.
Pat half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch ungreased pan. Bake ten minutes.
Remove from oven and spoon filling on top, smoothing it with an offset spatula or back of a spoon.
Sprinkle remaining flour-oat mixture on the filling and gently pat down until completely covered.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!