Orange Date Bars

These moist, dense bars are fabulous. When I can’t find orange cake mixes in the store, I substitute lemon cake mixes. I’ve also substituted dried cranberries or chopped dried cherries for the dates.

2 orange cake mixes
2 3.4-oz boxes instant orange or lemon pudding
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 8-oz. box chopped dates
1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans

1½ cups powdered sugar
1 T. orange juice

Preheat oven to 350º and spray a 10” x 17” x 1” pan (or two 9” x 13” pans). Blend the cake mixes, pudding, oil, and eggs. Add in the dates until distributed evenly. Spread the batter in the prepared pan(s) and sprinkle with the pecans, pressing them lightly into the dough surface. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until center is firm. Cool on a wire rack. Stir the powdered sugar and orange juice, adding just enough milk (a tablespoon or so) to make a thin glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the bars and allow glaze to set before cutting. Freezes well.

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