What's Valentine's without freshly baked goodies, right? Although I've prepared some for The Sugar House, I also wanted to bake something special for my family. After all, I didn't have the time to go to town and buy individual presents. Besides, I think nothing is more sincere than giving someone something that you made yourself.
Today, I decided to make food for the gods. I thought of baking a batch because we were given three boxes of dates from Saudi Arabia. While looking through recipes, I stumbled upon this one. (Though I made a few tweaks) It's simple too, so I opted to go for it.
Food for the Gods (adapted from Allrecipes.com)
- 1 1/2 cup sifted flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup dates (pitted)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (I used peanuts for this recipe)
- 1 cup chocolate chips (used a bar of Cadbury Hazelnut) (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Cream butter in a mixer.
- Add both sugars. Allow it to blend well.
- Add one egg at a time. Add the vanilla extract.
- Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon) in a separate bowl. Gradually add this to the sugar-butter mixture.
- Add nuts and chocolate.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line and/or grease a 9x13 pan. Pour in batter and spread evenly.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 300 degrees F and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until done. Use a toothpick to check if it's time to take it out of the oven.
I went crazy with the extras of this recipe. I didn't measure them, actually. Just added as much as I wanted. Aside from the dates, we also received a bar of Cadbury Hazelnut, so I ended up using that for this recipe, too. You can never go wrong with adding chocolate to baked goodies, right?
I didn't wait for it to cool completely. To be honest, Mom and I started digging in the moment it was out of the oven. The cinnamon gives off such an enticing aroma that you just can't resist grabbing a bite right away. The bars are crisp on the outside and chewy within.
If we weren't saving them for our Valentine's dinner, they would probably already be gone by now.
Happy Valentine's Day! I'd like to ask everyone to not be bitter during this day. Enjoy it instead! Make someone you love (family and friends count, okay?) feel special. This day isn't strictly for romantic love. If not, go treat yourself to some chocolate! You can never be sad when there's food around!