| Recipes |

Gooey Salty Chocolate-Date Bars

Did you even stop to think about a date? It’s like a caramel candy that grows on a tree — and it’s a delicacy that moonlights as a fruit. Incredible. Likewise, this dessert can also play two parts. Serve it hot and gooey with the dark chocolate chips oozing into the date filling, or (my personal preference) straight from the fridge for a sweet and salty refreshing bite. Enjoy the wonders of a date, either way you try!


  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2½ Tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup canola oil
Date Filling
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tsp instant coffee granules
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving
  • pomegranate arils, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line an 8x8-inch (20x20-cm) baking pan with parchment paper.

To make the filling: In a small bowl, place dates, coffee, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour boiling water over the mixture, making sure all the dates are submerged. Set aside.

Meanwhile, mix all crust ingredients together in a bowl. Press the resulting dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Without draining the filling, use a spoon (or an immersion blender, but I prefer mundane utensils) to mash the date mixture until it’s nice and smooth. Don’t worry if there are a few chunks of dates in there.

Pour the filling over the crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips, gently pressing them into the mixture. Sprinkle the pan with sea salt.

Bake for 35–40 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and pomegranate arils. Enjoy!


(Originally featured in Family Table, Special Tishrei Issue 810)

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