Makes 14-16 bars
Prep time 60 minutes
200g fine oats
100g walnuts roughly chopped
20g sesame seeds lightly toasted (optional)
240g dates roughly chopped
Zest of 1 orange
40g brown sugar
60g runny honey
½ tsp. sea salt flakes (plus extra for the top)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Line the bottom and sides of 20cm x 20cm baking tin with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the dates in a small saucepan together with the orange zest, cover with enough water and place onto a medium heat. Bring to a boil and allow to bubble for about 5 minutes stirring from time to time. Turn off the heat and using the back of a spoon or a fork, mash the dates until you’ve got a puree.
Meanwhile, place the butter, honey & allspice in a pot until the butter melts and then cook for 2 minutes until the mixture turns into a nice nutty colour. Add the sugar and mix to combine.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, walnuts, sesame seeds and ½ tsp salt, mix everything well. Add the date puree and the butter mixture followed with the rosewater. Using a silicon spatula, mix all the ingredients well until you achieve a sticky homogeneous lump.
Tip into the prepared tin and flatten the mixture evenly with the spatula and lightly sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
Transfer to the hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. The edges should look darker while the centre remains soft. Once cooked remove from the oven and set aside for 30 minutes. Cut the bars in squares leaving them in the tin to cool completely. Once cooled, gently lift and transfer to an airtight container.
Cook’s notes & tips
It is important to cut the bars when they are still warm before they set hard but equally as important to allow them to cool completely in the tin. Removing them earlier will cause the bars to crumble.
Make batches of these bars to grab on the go. They will keep well for up to 5 days stored in an airtight container, otherwise freeze them between sheets of greaseproof paper for up to 1 month. To defrost, place on a wire rack and allow to come up to room temperature.