Happy Ending Date Bars


You are probably wondering why these sweet little treats are called “Happy Ending Date Bars”? Very simply because they contain date filling spiked with rum…which is the “happy ending”. Also because I made these for Valentine’s Day and I thought that it would be an appropriate name considering the holiday.

My mom has made these little bar cookies ever since I can remember. Probably because they are so easy to make especially when you have young children and no extra time to bake. I have no idea where the recipe originally came from but I always knew that I could find it in her little green spiral notebook. The notebook that has stains on pages from butter and sugar from making homemade toffee.

I hope you enjoy these little treats just as much as my family always has. My favorite combination would be using red raspberry preserves from Rothschild’s Berry Farm. We used to pick strawberries and raspberries here when we were kids growing up. It was just a large farm with an outside stand and tons of baby pine trees and fruit growing. Now their products are distributed nationally and those baby pines are gigantic!

Happy Ending Date Bars

Makes 18 squares


2 c. all purpose flour

1 c. sugar

½ c. butter, slightly softened

½ c. finely chopped nuts, walnuts or pecans

1 egg, beaten slightly

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 c. date filling or favorite fruit preserves

1 tablespoon dark Rum


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly. Use your fingers, a fork, or pastry cutter. Add the nuts, egg, and vanilla. Mix with hands. The mixture will not form dough. The mixture will feel like sand.

In a small bowl combine date filling and dark Rum until smooth. Feel free to substitute any of your favorite fruit preserves like cherry, raspberry, or strawberry.

Press ½ of mixture into a greased 13 X 9” pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Spread entire amount of fruit filling on top of the base of the baked bars. Sprinkle the other half of the crumbly mixture on top of filling. Bake 15 minutes longer.

Remove bars from oven and cool completely before cutting.


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