Apple-Date Bars

These bar cookies are an updated version of the classic date bars.

2 large tart apples – peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup water
8 oz chopped dates
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter
3/4 cup light sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly mist a 9×13″ baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the apples and water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer ten minutes or until the apples become tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the chopped dates and cook, stirring constantly, until the dates melt into the apple mixture. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, oatmeal, and sugar. Mix well.
5. In another small saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the sour cream.
6. Drizzle the butter mixture over the dry ingredients, tossing with a fork or pastry cutter until evenly combined.
7. Spread 2/3rds of the dough in the bottom of the baking dish, lightly pressing into an even layer. Spread the apple-date filling over the bottom crust, then tear off small pieces of the remaining dough and cover the top of the filling.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.
9. Let cool in the baking dish before cutting into bars.

Servings: 30