Date-and-Walnut Bars

Date-and-Walnut Bars

This recipe for golden, chewy, date-and-walnut-packed bars comes from the Los Angeles pastry chef Margarita Manzke, who grew up in the Philippines and now runs the sweet side of the kitchen at République. When she was in high school, Manzke came across the classic recipe for “food for the gods” in a thin pamphlet of Filipino desserts, and she made the bars again and again, learning how to produce a consistently tender, chewy batch: Don’t overcream the butter, and don’t use a light hand with the dates. Manzke sells fresh bars at République, but know that at home the cooled, cut bars store well in the freezer, ready to pop out and defrost at a moment's notice.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 24 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat the oven to 325, and line a 13-by-18-inch sheet pan with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until well mixed and no lumps remain. Tip about 1/2 cup of the flour mixture into a medium bowl; add the dates, and toss well to coat, breaking up the dates as you go. Set aside.
  2. Step 2

    In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with both sugars just until smoothly incorporated, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs in 3 batches, mixing well each time and scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle between additions.
  3. Step 3

    Add the flour mixture and date mixture, and mix gently on low just until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a spatula to fold in the walnuts. Transfer the mixture to the parchment-lined sheet pan, and use an offset spatula to spread it in an even layer, pushing it into the edges and corners and smoothing the surface. Bake until brown and set, about 45 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Cool completely in the pan, then remove and cut into squares. Serve right away, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.