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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Filipino Food for the Gods

When I was working at China Bank, I've been to a lot of provinces, doing branch software installations and network configurations. Bacolod is one of those provinces I visited, and it is where I first experienced the heavenly taste of Food for the Gods(FftG). I was buying "pasalubong" (a present given by someone arriving from a trip) at Virgie's Homemade Products and the owner said Butterscotch and FftG were among their bestsellers. So I bought a few packs of both and oh my, I ate all the FftG even before my colleagues and I boarded the plane. Since then, FftG became my favorite. 

Filipino FftG is basically dates and walnut bar. I'm not really sure why this was named FftG...some say it's because the main ingredients: dates and walnuts are not easily available in the Philippines and hence, very expensive and only the rich can afford it. Some say it's because FftG is heavenly delicious, which I agree. :) Oh well,  what I know for sure is:  this is a really, really delightful treat that's so easy and quick to make; no special equipment needed.  

Food for the Gods is a favorite treat among Filipinos especially during the holidays.  It is a very good gift during Valentine's Day and Christmas. Baked with a delightful blend of dates, walnuts, molasses, and honey (plus pecans in my recipe), these bars are very delicious and addictive. I've been baking FftG for more than 10 years now, but I never get tired of it.

You should try it. It’s simple to make...and will give your kitchen a very pleasing aroma that gives you a reason to bake more. :)

And I'll be donating Food for the Gods to the Online Bake Sale for Japan hosted by The Tomato Tart of Sabrina Modelle. Please support me and other fellow foodies in this cause!

Now, here's the recipe...

  • 1 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I always use Sugar In The Raw for my Food for the Gods. It's healthier and has richer taste.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup pitted dried dates, chopped
For Toppings: (optional) - I just want my Food for the Gods to be really chunky.
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan.
3. Combine the first 4 ingredients. Take ½ cup of flour mixture and dredge the dates.
4. Cream butter and sugar.
5. Add eggs, one a time, and beat well after every addition. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Add the molasses, honey and vanilla extract. Mix well.
6. Fold in dates and nuts into the mixture until well combined.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
8. Sprinkle toppings. Lower heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

9. Cool for about 30 minutes and cut into bars of not more than 2x2 inches in size. Wrap individually with foil or colored cellophane.

 Or you can just serve it as is!  :)