a.k.a. Food for the Gods… at least in our part of the world… why are they called Food for the Gods? Well, it is said that these treats are so delicious that they are for (greek? roman?) gods.
These treats are available all year round, but they are most popular as Christmas giveaways. They are usually sliced into small squares or rectangles and wrapped in foil paper or cellophane. Trust me, a small portion goes a long way for these super-rich treats.
When I was younger (and single, and living with my mom), my mom would bake her fruitcakes, lasagna, and apple pies, while I would make food for the gods and brownies. We even had a kitchen schedule fixed ahead of time so we would not quarrel over oven time!
I used her recipe to make these treats, but made a couple of adjustments – I used way less sugar that her recipe specified. I remember these treats being ultra-rich and sweet and I wanted to reduce the sweetness if I could, without compromising its nature – the dates are sweet enough on their own!!! And, instead of walnuts, I used our local kasuy (cashews)! This is a personal preference because in my book, cashews are way better than walnuts! 🙂
My first try was not so successful, but it was entirely my fault. I halved the recipe but forgot to halve the flour! The result was a utterly dry and stiff bar that was no good! My second attempt was great, although I discovered that the treats had better texture after being left alone overnight! They were good straight out of the oven, truth be told, but they were even better the day after!