These Date and Almond Sugar Free Cookie Bars use Date Syrup as an alternative to refined sugar. They bake in less than 30 mins, and are filled with chunks of dates, ground and flaked almonds.
About This Recipe
For a long time, I have wanted to adapt as many of my recipes as I could to sugar free or at least reduced sugar. I'd recently eaten an Apple Crumble where the Apples were laced with an unnecessary amount of sugar overpowering the flavours of the fruit and the other ingredients.
It was at that point I wondered just how much sugar do we really need in our baking. And is sugar really what we crave when we want a slice of cake.
These Cookie Bars are the first recipe I've made where I substituted sugar with just Date Syrup and no other form of artificial sweetener. The Date Syrup gives the cookie dough a lovely light chocolate colour.
TIP: It took me a while to get used to things that are less sweet. What I did find were other flavours coming through.
This recipe is adaptable.
Feel free to add additional spices and flavours. If needed add more Almond Extract or replace it with Vanilla extract. Here's How to Toast Flaked Almonds if that's something you would like to do. Adapt this recipe to your own taste and sweetness by adding a little more date syrup if you wish.
How to Make this Sugar Free Cookie Bar Recipe
Before you begin, I suggest you read through the recipe first so that you have everything you need. I've added step by step instructions for you to follow if needed.
Get all the ingredients together
- butter (softened) - dairy free spread will be fine. Ensure the butter is at room temperature so that it mixes with the Date Syrup a lot easier and quicker.
- Date Syrup - This is what I'm using in place of sugar. Each tablespoon = approx. 22 grams. If you use Maple Syrup, it's a lot thinner than Date Syrup
- plain flour - Plain flour does not contain any raising agent. Strong white bread flour is fine too.
- almond extract - Please avoid using synthetic essences
- baking powder - Check to make sure it is in date. Out of date powders start to lose their raising qualities.
- Flaked Almonds - These give an added crunch to the cookie bars. You could toast them if you wish. Here's How to Toast Flaked Almonds.
- ground Almonds - Don't forget to add the Almond Extract to enhance the flavour of the Almonds.
- Dried Dates - Check the label on the packet of dates. Ensure there is no added sugar or sweet flours which are often used as an anti-caking agent. If you can get hold of fresh dates rinse and stone before roughly chopping them.
Always preheat your oven, better still buy an oven thermometor if you can. Grease and line a 10.5 inch (27cm) x 7 inch (17.5cm) x 1 tray bake tin or similar with baking parchment or greaseproof paper. TIP: If you use a tin with different dimensions, the baking times may differ.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter or dairy-free spread and date syrup until soft, light and fluffy. It only takes a couple of seconds to mix if your butter or spread is soft enough.
Sift in the flour and baking powder. Then add the Almond Extract, Dates, ground almonds, and flaked almonds.
I mix all the ingredients together until everything is well combined and forms a firm dough. This will only take a few seconds when using the electric mixer. If you don’t have a flexible beater attachment, you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go along. TIP: Do not overbeat.
Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan using a large spoon or spatular.
Bake in the oven for 20 - 25 mins or until baked with a light golden colour. Testing the centre of the bake with a skewer until it comes out clean.
Leave in the tin to cool completely before cutting into bars or slices. These Sugar Free Cookie Bars will keep in an airtight container for a few days.
FAQ'S for these Date and Almond Cookie Bars
You can keep date syrup in the fridge for several weeks.
Date Syrup is a thick natural alternative sugar sweetener.
Date Syrup is made from boiling dates in water until reduced in volume before blitzing them to a thick spreadable consistency that is ideal for baking.
Other Reduced Sugar Recipes
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Date & Almond Sugar Free Cookie Bars
Ingredients - Imperial /oz are approx weights which are calculated by a 3rd party app
- 225 grams butter softened or Dairy free spread
- 3 tablespoons Date Syrup (available online and in most supermarkets. 1 tablespoon = approx. 22 grams
- 225 grams plain flour sieved
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ level teaspoon baking powder
- 50 g Flaked Almonds
- 100 g ground Almonds
- 130 grams Dried Dates roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 170c fan assisted. Grease and line a 10.5 inch (27cm) x 7 inch (17.5cm) x 1 tray bake tin or similar with baking parchment or greaseproof paper. Please note. If you use a tin with different dimensions, the baking times may differ.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and date syrup until soft, light and fluffy. This will only take a couple of seconds if your butter or spread is soft enough.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder. Then add the Almond Extract, Dates, ground almonds and flaked almonds. Mix together until well combined and forms a dough. This will only take a few seconds when using the electric mixer. If you don’t have a flexible beater attachment, you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go along. Do not overbeat.
- Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan using a spoon or spatular
- Bake in the oven for 20 - 25 mins or until baked with a light golden colour. Testing the centre of the bake with a skewer until it comes out clean.
- Leave in the tin to cool completely before cutting it into bars or slices.