I grew up enjoying food for the gods during Christmas and I always thought that it would be such a complicated recipe because, well, at the time, you couldn’t exactly buy the ingredients from your local supermarket. It was such a treat when people gave us a box of these lovely sweet treats and I remember when we were handed one each after dinner so that we could make it last. This was before my Lolo Ani opened a bakery and started baking these in huge quantities and we had food for the gods on tap every Christmas!
Food for the gods are really date and walnut bars. I don’t really know why they’re called food for the gods, maybe because they are scrummy and so wonderfully to eat! I’ve tried several recipes and after a few tweaking exercises, I may have cracked it.
I brought this to work today so that I could share it with my officemates. I am merely continuing the Filipino tradition of giving away food for the gods at Christmas!
150g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
225g brown sugar
125g unsalted butter, melted
150g walnuts, coarsely chopped
150g dates, coarsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 175°C.
- In a mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder together with a balloon whisk until well combined. Add walnuts and dates and mix with a spatula until the dates and nuts are well-covered with the flour mixture and well-distributed within the flour mixture. Doing this will ensure that the dates and the nuts do not sink to the bottom of the mixture.
- In a mixing bowl (am using a free standing mixer but you can also do this by hand with a balloon whisk), combine melted butter and sugars and beat until the mixture is smooth and almost creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure that the egg is well-combined before adding the next one. Add the flour-date-nut mixture in quarters. Mix until everything is well-distributed and you cannot see any flour.
- Spread mixture in a greased 17.5cm x 26.5cm (or thereabouts) pan lined with baking parchment (I learned that lining the baking pan with parchment is good because it makes it easy to release the cake from the pan) and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. This recipe makes up to 24 squares.