Food for the gods
by Dorothy Ferreria
Yield: 48 to 60 squares.
200 g. of dried pitted dates
200 g. of walnuts
1-1/4 c. of butter, softened to room temperature
5 c. of lightly (not loosely) packed dark brown sugar
3-3/4 c. + 1 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
5 tsps. of baking powder
2-1/2 tsps. of salt
2-1/2 tsps. of vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 350oF.
Place the sultanas on a chopping board and sprinkle with one tablespoonful of flour. Chop coarsely. Transfer the chopped dates to a bowl and set aside.
Chop the walnuts to roughly the same size as the chopped dates. Add to the dates in the bowl.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla essence. Add the flour in batches, mixing with a wooden spoon. The batter will be very heavy. Finally, stir in the dates and walnuts.
Cover the bottom and sides of a 12-1/2 x 17-1/2 x 1 jelly roll pan with non-stick baking paper. Allowing overhangs on the long sides is useful so that you slide off the baked food for the gods on a cooling rack in one piece.
Pour the batter into the pan scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure you get all of the batter into the pan. Level off with a spatula. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Watch the last few minutes closely so that just as soon as it’s sufficiently baked, you can turn off the oven at once and take out the pan.
Then, cool in the pan for 10 minutes to firm it up a bit. Holding one end of the baking paper overhang with one hand and holding the pan at a 45o angle with the other, pull out the baked food for the gods and slide onto a cooling rack. Cool for another 15 minutes or so. While still a bit warm, cut into 1-1/2 or 2-inch squares. Cool completely. Place on festive colored paper cups or wrap in colored Japanese paper.
Food for the Gods
Yields 12-15 bars depending on size
by Dorothy Ferreria
1 cup or 6 ozs. dates
1 cup butter
2 large eggs
1¾ cup brown sugar
1½ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon each molasses and light corn syrup
1¼ cups AP flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8×10 or 9×9 baking pan. Set aside
Put dates in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Once water has come to a simmer, let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat. When dates have cooled, coarsely chop them up. Set aside.
Microwave butter in a large bowl. Stir until fully melted, then add in eggs, both sugars, and the syrups. Set aside.
On a sheet of wax paper, sift the remaining dry ingredients and then pour into the wet mixture. Stir only until no white specks of flour remain. Add the dates. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface has set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Let cool. Chill before cutting into squares for easier handling.