The secret of the date bars

My grandmother was famous for her date bars. They had a yummy crust, sticky date filling and streusel topping. She brought them everywhere she was invited – to family reunions, Thanksgiving dinner, summer picnics, church get-togethers. They were delicious. People would even request them when they invited her. “We’re having a picnic at the lake on Sunday. Will you bring your date bars?”

She never gave anyone the recipe. It was her secret. No amount of begging, pleading or cajoling could get her to even hint at the ingredients or the temperature of the oven.

Sadly, several years ago, she passed away from cancer. She is sorely missed by everyone in my family.

While cleaning out my grandmother’s home, my mom opened a bottom corner cabinet, and hidden in the back were dozens of boxes of Betty Crocker date bar mix. My stepdad was in another room, cleaning. My mom said nothing, and packed the date bar mixes into a box, labeled it something else and took them home with her.

She waited until my stepdad was out to make a trial batch of date bars. As soon as they came out of the oven, she tasted one, and sure enough – these were my grandma’s famous date bars! She cut them up, arranged them on a plate, and left them out for my stepdad to find. He was so happy when he came home. “You found my mother’s recipe!”

He ate them all up. My mom would occasionally pull out one of the boxes and make it, but she never told my stepdad the real secret of the date bars.

Betty Crocker has since discontinued the date bar mix. I have no idea how my mom has explained that one.

2 thoughts on “The secret of the date bars

  1. This is a great story. Every grandmother needs a secret, don’t you think? It’s not quite in the class of “When I was a young girl I dated Sean Connery”, but it’s a good one. 😉


  2. Too funny! My dad loved some cookies his wife made… til he found out they had sour cream in them. Then he suddenly didn’t like them anymore.

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