Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quick Date & Biscuit Bars

This is something I remember from my school days... as young kids, we used to take along a small box with snacks/light sandwiches and such to be had during our 'morning break'. I'm sure we can all remember how snacks were always favored as opposed to the actual meals at that age so this was always something I looked forward to. There would be a fair amount of sharing, swapping & tasting amongst us friends and this date & biscuit sweet/bar is one that my friend, N used to bring and something that I really enjoyed & looked forward to - it wasn't just me, i remember it being quite popular in general. At that age, you eat, enjoy, maybe mention to your mom describing it in the best way possible hoping she may be able to conjure up some way of making it at home based on that description... Those were days when it was not common to just make a call and find out from the friend's mom or do a search on the internet so soon it was forgotten.

As a grown-up, you crave for some of those things you enjoyed as a kid, remember them and wonder how they were made - i have quite a few items on this list & this was on it. Since my daughter doesn't take to dates or marie biscuits by themselves, i remembered this sweet that N brought and decided to make it, thinking this might do the trick. I've tried a few methods to replicate it and this one works the best and fortunately for me, it clicked with my 3yr old as well... :)

DATE & MARIE BISCUIT BARS
- the following quantity makes about 15, 1.5 inch square bars.


Ingredients:
Marie Biscuits - 6 to 8, break into small pieces (not too big or totally crushed either). This, when measured, came to about half a cup (heaped).
Dates - 1 cup, chopped into small pieces.
Ghee - 1 tsp plus a little for greasing
Cling wrap/thin plastic sheet to mould and for letting it set - optional, but recommended.
Method:
1) Spread a cling wrap sheet on a plate and spread a few drops of ghee on it to grease lightly.

2) Heat the 1tsp of ghee in a pan on medium flame and add the chopped dates. Stir this and what I did was to smush them a bit while i was stirring so they would kind of soften and come together a bit instead of staying just as separate pieces. After about 3 to 5 minutes, the dates will have softened and become stickier.

3) Switch off the stove and stir in the marie biscuit pieces gently yet as thoroughly as possible so they are spread out uniformly.

4) Transfer this mixture onto the clingwrap sheet and fold it over the mixture and press them together a bit from the sides so they come together and then flatten them out to the desired shape - i made a small rectangle with about half to 3/4 inch thickness.

5) Allow this to cool a bit and put it in the refrigerator for an hour or two to set. This will help harden the bars. Now, using a long, serrated knife, cut them into small pieces and there you have it!


Note: My friend always brought this combination with Marie biscuits so I've only made them with it so far - not sure if other biscuits would work. The proportions needn't be exact and you can play with them depending on your preference for taste & texture. I personally think that nuts like almonds or cashews would work as a substitute for the marie biscuits or even as an addition to this, but again, not something i've tried because my daughter has a nut allergy.

Also, i don't think they need to be refrigerated but I would recommend it so they have the firm texture but it would be just fine to take them along on drives, a picnic or as a treat for lunch as well without worrying about them not keeping well.

44 comments:

  1. looks delicious laav and healthy too!!...i am sending this recipe over to my sis...and it was kid approved..so it should be good :)

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  2. Thats a quick, easy and healthy snack...very tempting, looks great.

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  3. What a fantastic idea to combine the biscuits and dates together to form bars! I can see how these would be a hit with kids and grown-ups too. :D

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  4. awesome idea... quick to make and must have tasted yummy :)

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  5. looks delicious Laavanya. I would like to get my hands on those bars :)

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  6. This sounds yummy,intersting and healthy too..will definitely try Lavanya...

    And reg pepper okra..its actually a spicy one...just like adding chilli powder for okra poriyal,u have to add :)

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  7. i love this!! have made a more "loose" version of this long long back :)

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  8. They look delicious, very healthy and easy for a evening snack, yum :)

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  9. What a delicous bar with date and Marie biscuit!

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  10. Delicious bars. i made something similar without any cooking involved though :)

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  11. Yummy looking biscuit bars....would definitely want to try it soon!

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  12. Dates biscuit bars look superb! I have a stock of the ingredients needed, so i'll try it today itself :) Thanks sweety for the easy recipe :)
    TC

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  13. thatz a new thing for me. sounds quite healthy too .. Am sure this will be a hit with the kids

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  14. Hi,

    first time here.You have a good blog.
    Even i prepare these bars - i do add other dry fruits along with dates to make it more healthy.
    Nice snap - too tempting!!!

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  15. thy look so yum,.will prepare these bars for Advay....:-)

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  16. This a sure fire yum bar..Looks great dear..:)

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  17. Wow..such a simple and easy recipe!!Loved reading through your write up..dont we all miss those good ol' school days and the fun associated with it..;-)!!!

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  18. Looks delicious and gorgeous. Gives a feel that lot of work goes into it, though its made easily.
    Indeed a guilt free snack.

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  19. This is so loveeeeeely, and healthy too.My son generally don't like to eat dates on its own, and this is one wonderful way to make him eat those healthy sweet little things
    Thnks for sharing such a nice recipe

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  20. Wow..Its unique,simple,healthy and also very yummy.I will try this for sure..Thanks for sharing :)

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  21. I have never had this bar, but the post indeed bring back the wonderful memories of snack time in school.

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  22. i am going to try this out asap for sure, great recipe laavanya

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  23. Hey Laavanya...they look lovely! Great use of Marie biscuits :) I guess the beauty of using dates is that you dont have to use anything else to 'bind' them together.....great recipe :)

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  24. That look delicious and moist bars to eat. Good one Laavanya! :)

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  25. That's a very simple and tasty recipe Laavanya. I'm sure it would work fine with graham cracker crumbs too.

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  26. healthy and easy too.. a must try for me. will try and let u know dear.

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  27. thats a very simple and healthy snack!! and a good way to make those who dont like dates to eat it :D

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  28. Wow.. thats interesting! Simple but tasty recipe! Looks delicious!

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  29. Sounds simple, healthy and delicious ! And I always have some dates on hand so I will definitely try this :-)

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  30. Wow, those look great! Sweet and healthy, too!

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  31. Sounds neat and great! Should try out sometime for myself:)

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  32. FABULOUS!
    Just one question Lavs,does the cling film not melt when you pour the hot date mixture on it?

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  33. yummy recipe....please collect ur gift from my blog

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  34. That's great that even your three year old enjoyed this :). It looks like a yummy treat, and dates are always so delicious-they're like nature's candy!

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  35. I'm not a dates lover, but its really a cool idea to combine dates and biscuits! Sounds healthy and simple too.. A must try for my daughter's snack box..

    And I totally agree with you, school day snacks are my evergreen favorites.. remember those kamarkat, yelentha pazham etc.. :-)

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  36. Thank you all for your enthusiasm at this simple yet yummy recipe. If you do get a chance to try it, please let me know.

    Delhibelle, no the cling wrap doesn't melt.. atleast it didn't for me.. If you are worried abt the plastic, a greased plate would work just as well I'm sure..and you'd still be able to mould it to an even square/rectangle/square.

    Sujatha, oh i'm a BIG fan of kamarkat... haven't tasted much of elandhapalam though I remember navapalam. I always used to get sore throat after eating it, but still couldn't stop myself :)

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  37. this is such a neat idea!!! i guess this would work with granola too.

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  38. Delicious bar Laavanya, heathy and tempting!!!

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  39. Laaavi! wow! I can't believe you remembered the date biscuits! wow -- I'm gonna tell my Mom what a hit this one turned out to be! :) And yes, 'break time' in the good old days. What fun memories!

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  40. N is that really you in the last comment? What a wonderful surprise!! Yes, you absolutely must thank aunty on my behalf for introducing me to these date biscuits. Hope you are doing good.

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  41. how wonderful and touching that you made a recipe back from 'break time'. your post brings back so many memories. the anonymous comment made me smile. its funny though...in all those years I never had N's date biscuits! i need to call her and find out why she hid them from me :) but im defenitely trying them. i think adding a splash of wine while cooking the dates will be nice for an adult version of these biscuits.

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  42. I tried this today, but I made the biscuits powdered. It came out so well, will post the recipe sooner! Thanks for such a quick and healthy snack!

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  43. Finally posted it :) http://sharmis-passions.blogspot.com/2010/05/chewy-dates-and-biscuit-bars.html

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