Some dates can be super dry and hard, but for this recipe, you want to try to get your hands on some that are plump and slightly glossy, with no crystallized sugar on the surface. You can find quality Medjool dates at Costco, Trader Joe’s, and HEB has this brand in the produce area: Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates. No added sugar, no preservatives.
The Vanilla Bean Paste can also be found at HEB in the spice isle. I use Taylor & Colledge Organic Vanilla Bean Paste.