These bars cry out for salted caramel sauce or a drizzle of melted chocolate to finish. Or forget a topping and just freeze and serve as cold cubes. Switch up the base for different flavours—try ginger cookies, crushed shortbread, graham crackers, or chocolate wafer cookies.
2 cups (500 mL) cookie crumbs, such as ginger, shortbread, graham cracker, or chocolate wafers
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
1 cup (250 mL) seedless dates, whole
1/2 cup (125 mL) bourbon*
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
2 - 8 oz (225 g) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (125 mL) date sugar
2 large free-range eggs
1 cup (250 mL) Greek yogurt
For crust, stir cookie crumbs with melted butter or oil. Turn into 13 x 9 x 2 in (33 x 23 x 5 cm) pan lined with parchment paper. Press to pack down. Place in freezer while preparing filling.
Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C).
For filling, simmer dates with bourbon until very tender. Stir in vanilla. Purée to a smooth paste. Cool completely before using.
Beat cream cheese with date sugar until smooth. Beat in cooled date purée, then add eggs, one at a time. Beat in yogurt. Pour filling over prepared crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until just set. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate. Cut into bars.
*You can substitute 1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice for the bourbon.
Makes 16 bars.
Each square contains: 192 calories, 7 g protein; 5 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 26 g total carbohydrates (18 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 270 mg sodium
source: "Make It a Date!", alive #374, December 2013
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