gingerbread bars with white chocolate dates and cashews

Each time I step foot in my local Trader Joe's it's as if an alien force has taken over my brain. I walk around in a haze (or maybe a fog...or a daze) like some sort of specialty food junkie. By the time I get to the checkout, my basket is filled with far more than I intended and I'm grinning from ear to ear. I've also spotted Pirate Joe so I get to pick out a candy or tangerine from the pirate chest. Life couldn't possibly get any better! It's hard enough to resist all of the goodness Trader Joe's has to offer throughout the year, but when Christmastime rolls around...Forget about it!

The last time I was shopping at TJ's I picked up a package of dates from the produce section. I had no real plan for them at the time but I figured I could find some yummy recipe to put them into. I ran across a recipe for white chocolate gingerbread blondies at Martha Stewart's website and I knew I wanted to tweak it a bit and add my dates and maybe a handful or two of cashews as well.

I love the way these bars came out. Moist. Spicy and sweet...but not too sweet. Such a nice holiday treat!

gingerbread bars with white chocolate dates and cashews
by theUngourmet ~inspired by Martha

Makes about 4 dozen 2-inch squares

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped dates
2 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup baker's sugar
2 jumbo eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/3 cup unsulfered molasses
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped unsalted cashews

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 17x12 inch rimmed baking with foil or parchment paper. Lightly spray oil the foil or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the dates and toss to separate (they tend to want to stick together).

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium high until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula as needed. Beat in the vanilla, ginger and molasses. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture just until combined. Hand stir in the white chocolate and cashews.

Evenly spread batter into prepared pan. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan in a wire rack. Cut into squares.

Print recipe

Yum! Try these. You will love 'em!



Jeannie said...

yummy indeed! love the ingredients so can imagine how lovely the taste is...Happy Holidays to you Kim:D

scrambledhenfruit said...

I wish I had a Trader Joe's nearby! Those bars look wonderful- I love your additions to the recipe. :)

BarbaraJean said...

I think I will soon be joining you as a Trader Joe's Junkie! They are opening one in my area soon.I can't wait. I am going to try your recipe. I LOVE gingerbread so I know I will love these.

Cathy said...

Wow, what a great photo, Kim. I've never added dates to gingerbread but I love the idea. They would add so much flavor and moistness to the bars.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. Best wishes to you all.

Faith said...

Gingerbread is the perfect festive treat and I love all your mix-ins! This would be perfect with a cup of tea!

Diana's Cocina said...

I too love gingerbread, it is a must for the holidays. Loving the white chocolate...Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

Holly said...

These look totally delectable!:)

Jennifurla said...

Oh dear, I am in love with this picxture. Great texture.

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Joanne said...

Trader Joe's is like this total mind suck. I think everyone who goes in there can't help but come out with at least five items more than they intended.

These bars look wonderful! I love that you added in some dates to healthify them up a bit!

lisa is cooking said...

I love those gingerbread white chocolate bars, and they sound great with dates and cashews! Every time I hear about Trader Joe's, I wish we had one here.

Juliana said...

Kim, these bars have lots of yummie stuff in it...looks delicious and perfect flavor for the season :-)

Lisa said...

These look so good. I love dates and eat them on their own! I also love TJ's but there is not one close to us. It might be a good thing since I could spend a small fortune in there! If I don't "see" you before Christmas, Merry Christmas!

Sophie said...

Waw!! Tasty & yummie indeed!

These filled bars look amazing, tasty & lovely at the same time, Kim!

Kate said...

Love gingerbread! This combo moves it up a notch!

Heavenly Housewife said...

You have managed to combine so many of my favorite flavours into one little bar of goodness. This is why you are a super star!
*kisses* HH

Monet said...

Hi Kim. I miss my Trader Joe's. I loved that place...they need to move down to Texas. These bars look delicious. They are so unique and I love the addition of cashews (one of my favorite nuts!) I hope you have a wonderful end to your week. Happy Holidays!

jacqueline said...

Dearest Kim, this looks soo yummie!! I really like the ingredients. :) Thanks so much for sharing! Wishing you JOY and LOVE for a wonderful Christmas my sweet friend..thank you for all the blessings you have given me this year. Love to you!

Angie's Recipes said...

I too enjoy the combination of the flavours in this recipe.

I wish you and yours a happy holiday season!

Stella said...

Hey Kim, we don't have a Trader Joe's here. Wait, I just moved here, and have not checked. Thanks, Kim! I'm going to do that in a minute. I know there wasn't one in Tampa/St. Pete. Hmm...
Either way, these are so pretty and I love that you used half whole wheat. I've been trying to use either all whole grain or half and half when it seems necessary. Well, obviously I didn't do that with my last post (smile). That was a holiday treat though;-) Yeah, anyway, you've got my mind churning on a whole grain bar...
XOXO & Merry Christmas, Kim.

Randi Troxell said...

oh these seriously sound heavenly!!!

have a wonderful and merry Christmas!!!!

Emily Z said...

Yum! We are getting a Trader Joe's this year in KC and I can't WAIT!

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