“Food for the Gods” Bars

Food for the gods

During the holiday season in the Philippines, Filipinos bake these walnut- and date-studded bars to give to loved ones as individually wrapped treats. The grand name (pagkain para sa mga diyos in Filipino) is thought to go back to the days of Spanish rule over the archipelago, when dates and walnuts were delicacies not many could afford, making them fit only for divine consumption. While we can’t vouch for the accuracy of that story, we can confim these bars are pure buttery bliss.

"Food for the Gods" Bars
 
Makes 24 bars
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (334 grams) bourbon
  • 1½ cups (250 grams) packed whole Medjool dates
  • 2 cups (440 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (187 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) roughly chopped toasted pecans
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) roughly chopped toasted walnuts
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat bourbon on high until an instant-read thermometer registers 180°F (82°C), about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat bourbon over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 180°F [82°C].) Stir in dates; let stand for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain dates, reserving liquid for another use, if desired. Spread dates on prepared pan, and pat dry. Remove pits; chop dates into ¼-to ⅓-inch pieces.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, and granulated sugar until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
  5. In another large bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups (156 grams) flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually fold flour mixture into butter mixture just until combined.
  6. In a medium bowl, stir together dates, pecans, and walnuts; add remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, stirring until well combined. Fold date mixture into batter. Spoon into prepared pan, smoothing top.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300°F (150°C); bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), about 40 minutes more. Let cool completely in pan. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Using a serrated knife, cut into 24 bars.
Notes
PRO TIP-To recreate our packaging, cut 2-inch strips of parchment paper, wrap around each bar, and secure with baker’s twine.

 

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