As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a wicked sweet tooth. I had a craving for something tasty and sweet, and with the ingredients I knew I had on hand, date squares were on the menu. I pulled out my bag of dates from the pantry, checked the expiry date and couldn’t believe my eyes! Theses dates were going to expire March 6, 2013. That’s today! This was no coincidence, these were date squares of destiny.
I googled a few recipes and chose the one I liked most, modifying it slightly based on my preferences. Though I like sweet treats, I like a touch of saltiness mixed in. I adore the salty sweet combination. I always use salted butter when I bake and I usually add a touch more salt to my recipes. I think this helps balance out the sugar and keeps things from becoming cloyingly sweet.
Here’s the recipe I used (adapted from food.com):
2 cups chopped dates
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup butter
- Combine dates, water and orange juice in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, stirring often, until dates are soft and come together in a smooth consistency. Add more oj or water as necessary.
- In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir in brown sugar and oats. Don’t over mix, mixture should stay crumbly.
- Press half of crumb mixture over bottom of lightly buttered 8×8-inch pan to form bottom crust.
- Gently spread date filling over bottom crust.
- Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over date filling, pat lightly with palm of hand to even out.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Cool completely and cut into squares.
- Enjoy with a big mug of your favourite tea or coffee when your little one has eventually gone down for his afternoon nap.
I was really impressed with how these turned out! The crust was buttery, sweet, salty, crumbly goodness, and the date centre had just the right consistency and wasn’t overly sweet. Enjoy!