Melt the butter in a saucepan and simmer at a low setting. Let the milk solids settled at the bottom of pan toast to a light brown. Cool the brown butter.
In a mixing bowl combine brown butter, sugar, flour, salt and mix it up well until crumbly. Press the crumb mixture evenly onto a 14 X 9 inch baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Tip: Use half recipe for a 8 x 8 inch square pan.
Bake the shortbread layer for about 15 to 18 minutes until very light brown. Let cool.
Meanwhile chop the dates, apricots and prunes. Process all the dried fruits, maple syrup, coconut milk and pinch of salt in a food processor to a smooth paste. Tip: Adjust the amount of coconut milk as needed, to make a thick but spreadable paste.
Dollop the dried fruit mixture all over the shortbread base and using a flat spatula spread it evenly into a layer.
Scatter the chopped nuts and coconut flakes over the dried fruit layer and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes until few of the coconut flakes start turning a light brown.
Let the date bar cookies cool completely before cutting them into squares with a sharp knife.
Store in an airtight container.
The dried fruit mixture should be easily spreadable or it may lift off some cookie crumbs and roll over. And spread it all the way to the edge of the baking sheet or pan to prevent it from rolling back over the crust.
They can be frozen for couple months in freezer safe containers and with wax paper between the layers.
You may also try other flavors such as citrus zest, cinnamon, cardamom, rose water or orange blossom water.