Buttery and chewy with crisp tops and edges, Food for the Gods is a heavenly treat that is mostly served during the holidays in the Philippines. Filled with dates and walnuts, it is surely a decadent treat. Other similar treats perfect for the season are Caramel Bars and Marbled Shortbread Cookies.
Christmas is fast approaching, my friends. I love baking to welcome the holiday spirit. The aroma of baked goods and the warmth from the oven, baking guarantees a feeling of joy this holiday season.
What are you baking this year? In our household, Food for the Gods is a yearly thing. I love every chewy bite with the occasional crunch from the walnuts and chew from the dates. It is a luxurious treat if you ask me, one that we deserve not only during the holidays, but all year!
If you are looking for more recipes to bake, check out my 25 Holiday Desserts Recipes.
Food For the Gods
Food for the gods is characterized by its chewy interior with bits of chopped dates and walnuts for texture. The edges are baked crisp and golden while the middle remains soft and chewy.
In the Philippines, it is mostly enjoyed during the holidays, wrapped up in fancy tins or cellophane. While it is not in the limelight like the countless ube desserts recipes, bibingka and puto bumbong, Food for the Gods is one of the symbolic holiday food in the Filipino cuisine. (See FAQ below the post for some bit of history of these delicious Filipino style blondies.
The dates (pitted) and walnuts are chopped in the size preferred by the baker. I like mine in littlest bits but you can make them into bigger chunks if you like.
Either way, you will love these decadent little bites. Indulge, my friends. Merry Christmas! All my love for you all!
Ingredients for Food for the Gods
- Butter. Unsalted butter is best for the recipe. Salted butter can alter the flavor of these chewy cookie bars.
- Dates. I recommend the ones that are not dried. Dates can be found in the produce section and mostly available all year. My favorite to use are Medjool dates. ( Love Medjools? Check out Medjool Date Coffee Cake and Cinnamon Loaf with Medjool Date Filling.
- Walnuts. Together with the dates, the walnuts add a nice texture to these treats.
- Brown sugar. There is a greater proportion of brown sugar in this recipe to provide a deeper flavor and richer color.
- White sugar. A small amount of white sugar, alongside the brown sugar, sweetens this dessert.
- Eggs. The eggs adds tenderness and richness to the recipe. Use large eggs.
- Vanilla extract. This adds flavor to the baked good.
- See the recipe card for the rest of the ingredients.
How to Make Food for the Gods?
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 7-inch square pan with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, cream butter with the sugars until thick and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this mixture to the mixing bowl and beat, starting on low speed then speeding up to medium-high, until the ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the walnuts and dates.
Spread the batter (batter will be thick), into the prepared pan. Level the top with an offset spatula. Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes. The top should be golden. It is done when the edges are set but the center is soft.
Let the baked good cool first before slicing into squares. The center will continue to set as it cools.
How to Store Food for the Gods
- To store Food for the gods, keep them in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- You can also wrap them up in food grade paper or boxes to give as gifts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dates and walnuts were regarded as expensive ingredients, and to bake them into a cake/ cookie form is considered a luxurious treat. They were then called Food for the Gods, or something fit to be consumed by king and queens. This dates back to when the Spanish colonies are in the Philippines.
Dates in these blondies make them chewy. Is is also important that these are not overbaked to the point that they become dry. Food for the Gods are meant to be dense, a bit moist and chewy.
More Delicious Treats
- Ube Flan Cake
- Hokkaido Cupcakes
- Butterscotch Bars with Pecans and Chocolate Chips
- Best Ever Brownies
- Almond Chocolate Biscotti