Something New: Got A Hot Date Bars

This post is linked to Whip Up Something New.

Last week I told you about Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson and promised you I’d tell you about one of the recipes included in the mystery. I’ve been reading this Goldy Schultz series for quite some time and when I read each of the books I like to try at least one of the recipes.

In this book I wanted to try the Got a Hot Date Bars. I liked the variety of ingredients – raisens, dates, pecans and two kinds of chips. I figured it was worth a try. Here’s the recipe and then my notes at the end:


1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9 x 13″ pan.

2. Toast, cool and roughly chop 1 c. whole pecans

3. In a small saucepan mix and heat until boiling:

  • 1/2 c. chopped dates
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 2 T. buttermilk (Update: I used regular milk)
  • Immediately pour into a shallow bowl to cool.

4. Sift together:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt

5. In a mixing bowl, mix on high speed:

  • 2 sticks butter at room temperature until creamy.

6. Than add

  • 2 c. dark brown sugar, packed, mix together well until light and fluffy

7. Add one at a time:

  • 2 eggs and then
  • 1 t. vanilla

8. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture, date mixture, nuts and

  • 1 c. choc chips
  • 1 c. toffee chips

9. Bake in center of over for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Cut into 24 bars.


  1. My professional taste-tester (my husband) doesn’t like dates so I didn’t tell him they were in there. His first reaction was that this was a very good pecan bar, very moist. His second reaction? Did you put raisins in here? Yes. Did you like them? Yes. That made it nice and chewy. No comment about the chocolate chips or toffee chips.
  2. Over all, I was very happy with the results. I’ll definitely make these again. They might become the new Pecan Bars – my husband’s favorite Christmas cookie. The old recipe (his mother’s) I think is too dry.
  3. The only thing I didn’t like is that, with all the bowls around, it took up a lot of cupboard space.
  4. Be careful with the dates, raisins and buttermilk mixture. Since there is very little liquid, it doesn’t take long for it to come to a boil – like a minute or two. I had it on medium heat but I stirred it just to make sure it didn’t burn. The milk was almost completely absorbed by the raisins and dates.
  5. I baked this in a glass pan and it got slightly burned on the bottom. Next time I’ll either use metal or not let it bake so long – maybe 5 minutes less.

I hope you’ll give it a try. If you do, come back and let me know how it worked for you.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature at Beth Fish Reads. Click the button below and it will take you there.

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24 Responses to Something New: Got A Hot Date Bars

  1. Debbie says:

    a book and a cook! I mean a recipe. :~) I love dates, so these sound great to me. I also like to read Diane Mott Davidson’s books.

  2. I was so curious before I read the recipe and realized what “hot date” meant! Actually I love dates too, but I think I would do it without the raisins!

  3. Yummy! As an RVer I definitely could relate to your comment about taking up a lot of counter space. Do you ever wish you could take to Ms Davidson and ask her how much time she spends in the kitchen? Do you think she actually makes up her recipes?

  4. JoAnn says:

    I love dates and the name “Got A Hot Date Bars” is perfect! It just seems that there is never buttermilk in the refrigerator when I need it. Will have to look up those substitutions again.

  5. kaye says:

    Wow, do those sound yummy! I happen to have dates on hand as I planned on making date bread soon but this is mighty tempting even though it has a lot of ingredients. 2 sticks of butter would make Paula Deen very happy! Your comment on my Weekend cooking gave me a chuckle as we still us the steak knives we got from a gas station promotion and the silverware from the grocery story. The first week a set was free with a coupon so my mother commanded all her sisters and friends to get the free silverware because I was getting married in a few months.That was almost 45 years ago and we still have them. Have a great weekend!

  6. That sounds delicious! I love the cup in the photo too!

  7. Margot says:

    Sallie: I DO wish I could have a chat with Diane Mott Daviddson. I’d love to know, along with you, how she comes up with these new recipes for every book. I haven’t tried all of them but the ones I’ve tried are really good.

    JoAnn: I forgot to mention in my notes but I didn’t have buttermilk either. I wasn’t going to buy a whole carton for only a couple of tablespoons. I used regular milk. I’ll updated my post. Thanks for reminding me.

  8. Beth F says:

    pecans, toffee chips, chocolate, bar cookies . . . . Okay, I’m in!!

  9. Beth F says:

    Oops, meant to add that I buy powdered buttermilk and keep in the refrigerator so I can make small portions of it for recipes. It’s available near the flour and other baking goods.

  10. Belle Wong says:

    This sounds delicious. Did you tell your husband about the dates afterwards? 🙂

  11. Heather says:

    Good on you. Hubby doesn’t need to know all the ingredients.

  12. Ellie says:

    The bars look really good and I love the name. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything with dates in it.

    I’m still working my way to Sweet Revenge!

    You can visit my Weekend Cooking HERE

  13. Ellie says:

    Wonder why did my gravatar didn’t show up?

    I forgot to say that I love Pecan Bars too!

  14. They look delicious, and does have a nice variety! Love how you managed to get your husband to eat them! So funny! I did that once with frozen yogurt. Now he loves it!

  15. ldh says:

    Hi Margot!

    So nice stopping by to meet you and see your recipe and notes. Sounds like a good one to me too. This is my first time participating in this meme and it is fun!

    Kindly, Lorraine

  16. Marg says:

    I do like the idea of these mysteries that have recipes in them!

  17. Louise says:

    These sounded fantastic, and now we know that they look fantastic too. Bet they tasted fabulous too.

  18. Chinoiseries says:

    Yum, I love dates and those toffee & chocolate chips just make it even better… thanks for sharing!

  19. Nan says:

    I don’t like dates either, but if he didn’t taste them, well… of course I could just leave them out, couldn’t I?

  20. Staci says:

    Sounds like a great recipe and I’m glad that your hubby enjoyed them!!

  21. kaye says:

    oooh yum! I love dates!

  22. Cerrin says:

    That is very creative talking there. lol I also love to see that Dad is still using the mug I gave him. lol I think the only present that gets used. lol
    Great recipie. I made rice crispy treats for my group Sunday using fruity pebbles instead…what a huge hit lol

  23. Elise says:

    Okay, printing this and filing as to make. I love dates & these bars sound SO good!

  24. Excellent post. I am constantly reading this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info specifically the last phase

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