Whole Wheat Date Bars (Ma'roota)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack, dessert, bar
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 40
  • 3 cups while whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
  • ½ cup semolina flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 tbsp ground anise
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp anise seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp rose water
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 lbs dates (pitted, or baking dates)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Brush a large cookie sheet with olive oil and preheat the oven to 375.
  2. To make the dough, mix the flour, semolina, baking soda, baking powder, and fennel and anise seeds and powders in a medium size bowl.
  3. Mix in the egg and the vanilla.
  4. Add the oil and rose water and incorporate with your fingertips. Pour in the milk and knead until you have a uniform dough ball. If the dough is too moist and sticky, add a little bit of flour until it easily comes off your fingers. Let it rest for few minutes while you prepare the dates.
  5. To prepare the date filling, process the dates, olive oil, and cinnamon in a food processor. If you're starting with baking dates, combine all 3 ingredients well. If the dates are too hard, microwave for 30-60 seconds to soften.
  6. Divide the dough in half. On a clean counter or wax paper, roll one half until it's a 10x16 rectangle. Place in the baking sheet. Now roll all the dates to the same size and place on top of the dough. Repeat with the second half of the dough and place on top of the date layer. You may use a second wax paper between the rolling pin and dates/dough if they start to stick.
  7. Cut the bars before baking them, either into squares or diagonally.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the bottom is slightly golden. You can broil on low for few minutes until golden if desired.
Recipe by Nour Zibdeh at https://www.nourzibdeh.com/2010/09/13/recipe-whole-wheat-date-bars-for-breakfast-or-on-the-go/