I am SO excited to share this recipe with you all today!

First, it is from my newest love –  The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by the amazing Deb Perelman. You’ve seen her across this screen many times, both as the subject of “blove“, as well as the many recipes I’ve posted.

Guys – get this book. It is charming, funny and filled with the most delicious, doable recipes. And I can say this with much confidence, since I not only bought a copy for myself, but I gave two as gifts to friends – one a professional cook, the other a baker. They both love it.

So there’s that.

Then there’s my lifelong pursuit of a really, truly, must-have breakfast cookie. Ever since my first challenging eater was born over 20 years ago, I’ve been trying – and failing – to bake the “ultimate” breakfast bar/cookie/square. You know, one that qualifies as healthy food first (not some bulked up cookie in disguise), but one that I would love to eat too.

This. Is. The one.

Finally (drum roll please) – it’s dairy free! Holla!

One of the stranger things I’ve noticed this month is that I am hungry pretty much all day long. My appetite itself has decreased, so I’m not eating as much at each sitting – but I’m eating what feels like all the time. So I’ve been stocking up on high protein, filling, and of course satisfying options. These bars are divine, and will be a staple here long after my dairy-free month is over.

Have any of you bought the book yet? I know there are a bunch of Smitten fans out there.


breakfast bars

breakfast bars

on weighing ingredients
my favorite baking tips and tricks

Almond Date Breakfast Bars
from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

2 c. (300 g.) chopped dried pitted dates (I use pre-chopped if I can find them)
2 1/2 c. (220 g.) quick rolled oats
1/4 c. + 2 T. (44 g.) whole wheat flour
2/3 c. (70 g.) wheat germ
1 c. (110 g.) sliced almonds
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. (130 g.) almond butter
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. honey
1/2 t. grated orange zest
1/2 t. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 pan with your parchment “sling” (I used two pieces of parchment here, one in each direction).

Combine the dates, oats, flour, wheat germ, almonds, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter, olive oil, honey, orange zest and almond extract. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture, and stir together until evenly combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, pressing the mixture firmly onto the bottom, edges and corners (Deb suggests using a piece of plastic wrap to keep your hands from getting sticky – worked like  a charm).

Bake the bars for 30-35 minutes, until they are golden brown all over. Cool the bars completely in the pan on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to a cutting board – using your “sling” to assist – and place in the fridge for a few hours (this will greatly facilitate cutting into neat squares).

Remove from fridge and cut into desired bars – I got 24 squares from mine.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver

Note: The recipe in the book is for half this amount, baked in an 8 x 8 pan. I would definitely double. The bars are a little thicker and chewier when baked this way, which I prefer. And since they freeze beautifully you’ll be glad – once you taste them – that you have plenty stashed away. Trust me, these will disappear before you know it!


  1. Sara on January 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Somehow these seem much more appealing on your website than they did when I read the recipe in the book. Thanks! Adding to the list!

    • sherisilver on January 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks Sara – you’ll LOVE these!

  2. Christa the BabbyMama on January 26, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I am so going to do these! Just need to find dates…

    • sherisilver on January 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

      Yay! Enjoy! 🙂

  3. Drew on March 10, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Sheri, I finally got around to making these and Melanie and I concur: they are fantastic. A perfect combination of flavors and textures and the list of ingredients is so positive. Is the rest of the cookbook as good as this?

    If anyone’s curious, and/or also silly enough to buy unpitted dates, it took about 16 dates to reach 300 grams. Also they are much easier to cut if left in the freezer for at least one hour ahead of time.

    • sherisilver on March 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear that – I make these regularly now; everyone here loves them! I’ve only made these and the maple granola (also on the blog). But I gave 2 copies to friends who LOVE it, and I’ve made countless recipes from her blog – many of which are featured here. So I’d say “yes”!
      Thanks for the date-count.:) I never heard the tip about freezing them – that’s a good one. The pre-chopped are so much easier, but now I want to try the whole ones again!

  4. Melanie on March 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Yeah, what HE said! They ARE AWESOME.

    • sherisilver on March 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Yay! And guilt-free too. Winning, my friend!

  5. Wendy Hampton on January 8, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    These sounds really good. I wonder if they would hold up if I mailed them to a Marine in Afghanistan. I understand it can take up to two weeks to get mail to them.

    • sherisilver on January 9, 2014 at 6:18 am

      Thanks Wendy! I think they’ll hold up well – I’ve found that they keep for a long time without any discernible change in taste or texture, and they are very sturdy too – not crumbly. 🙂

  6. Wendy Hampton on January 9, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Wonderful! I’ll make some tomorrow and send them out and report back on the reception in Afghanistan! Cheers!

    • sherisilver on January 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Yes! Please let me know!

  7. Mia on March 17, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Do you have Nutrition Information for these? They’re delicious and only natural ingredients are used, but they’re very sweet. I worry that they’re not as “good” for me as I’d like.

    • sherisilver on March 17, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      I’m so sorry, I don’t! But it looks like there’s about 1 teaspoon of honey per bar, according to a quick calculation (assuming you cut 24 bars), and that’s the only added sweetener. I hope that helps!

  8. Zebrina on October 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Do they have to be refrigerated?

    • sherisilver on October 4, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      I do, just “because” – but they don’t if they are eaten up within a week or so. After that I’d refrigerate!

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