Spiced Pecan Date Shortbread Bars

Spiced Pecan Date Shortbread Bars

Cardamom, allspice, clove and nutmeg are the culprits in these flavorful bars, along with molasses and orange zest.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 18 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Step 2

    Make the shortbread crust: Pulse flour, butter, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor until mixture looks like wet sand. (Alternatively, work the mixture with fingertips or a pastry cutter.)
  3. Step 3

    Press shortbread mixture into the bottom of a 9-by-9-inch square cake pan in an even layer. Bake crust for 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. Step 4

    Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together melted butter, eggs, molasses, golden syrup, cardamom, allspice, clove, nutmeg, salt, orange zest, rum and vanilla extract. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in dates.
  5. Step 5

    Pour filling over prebaked crust, then sprinkle pecans over filling. Bake for 30 minutes, or until filling is no longer jiggly and seems set.
  6. Step 6

    Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen cake, then invert pan over a cutting board to remove. Invert again and cool completely before cutting into bars approximately 1 1/2 by 3 inches.