Friday, 13 September 2019

Mia Bakes: Nestum Date Bars


With that last bit of Nestum cereal leftover in my cupboard, I started looking for new baking recipes to use up that final bit of the yummy cereal and so, Nestum Date Bars it shall be!
So let's get over with the ingredients to get started!

To get 16 servings:
150g deglet noor dates (pitted and chopped)
120ml water 
160g wholemeal flour
70g Nestum Multigrain Cereal
100g unsalted butter, soften
50g plain greek yogurt
100g soft brown sugar
(I used a mixture of brown sugar with baking stevia)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
recipe adapted from nestum.com.my

First up, to prepare the date filling, pop the chopped dates and 120ml of water into a pot and cook over low fire, stirring consistently so that the bottom do not burn, until all the water has evaporated and you're left with a mushy, sticky date jam.
Set aside for the jam to cool down completely.

In a large bowl, whisk the soften butter together with brown sugar until the mixture turns fluffy and creamy before whisking in the greek yogurt, egg and vanilla extract until the mixture is well combined. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature so that your butter-sugar mixture will not seize up into lumps.
Then, add in all your dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
You will be left with a little sticky, malleable dough.

Then, line your 8 x 8 inch pan with some cling wrap before plopping half of the dough in. Using either your wet (to prevent sticking) hands or a spatula, spread it out into a uniform layer and wrap it up with the cling wrap before popping the entire sheet of dough into the fridge for it to firm up.
Then, spray down the pan with some cooking spray and line it with some parchment paper, making sure that you've sufficient overhang for easy removal of the baked date bars, before pressing in the remaining half of the dough to form the base.
By now, if the date jam is still too hot to handle, pop the entire pan into the fridge and wait for the date jam to cool down further.
Once the jam has cool, spread it over the dough base before topping the date jam layer with the other sheet of dough pastry that was left to chill in the cling wrap previously. By now it should be pretty firm and easy to work with.
Then, using a fork, prick holes all over the top pastry dough before baking it in an oven that's pre-heated to 170 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes, or until the surface turns into a beautiful golden brown.

Remove the pan from the oven and lift the date bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang. Set it on a wire rack for it to cool down until it's just slightly warm to touch before cutting it into 16 squares/slices. Do note that if you try to cut it up when it's still too hot, the pastry will just crumble off, so do allow sufficient time for proper cooling.


Then, popped the cut bars back into the oven to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius until the bars crisp up.


Buttery, crisp pastry biscuits with a layer of sweet and gooey date jam sandwiched in the middle. YUMS!

Till then,
Mia Foo

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