December 20, 2010 § 2 Comments
These were my favourite holiday treat growing up. My mom only made them at Christmas time and to me they were better than any cookie or pie in the world. Honestly though, I’ve only ever made them myself once and for reasons unknown, I never made them again. That is, until now and I think I’m going to start making them a lot more often.
You’ll need pitted dates (unless of course you like to pit dates then hey, knock yourself out), water, flour, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, baking soda, quick oats, butter and lemon juice or vanilla or almond extract.
Chop about 1 lb (you can use a little less if you like but I don’t recommend more) of dates into small bite size pieces and place them in a medium saucepan, add 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of white sugar and lemon juice (or substitute) and cook over medium low heat stirring often until the mixture is smooth.
It should like this when it’s ready. Remove from heat and set aside. I know, I know…it looks disgusting but honestly it tastes divine.
In a large mixing bowl, place 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of quick oats, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp of baking soda and 1/4 tsp of salt. Stir together mixing well.
Add 3/4 cup of room temperature butter and mix with a fork (I always find it much easier to use my hands for this so whatever floats your boat) until mixture is soft and crumbly.
Spread the cooled date mixture over the bottom layer. I fiddle with this part because I’m a neurotic perfectionist who places too much value on what people think of her baking skills. Really, you just have to spread it so the dates reach the edge.
Next cover the dates with the rest of the flour mixture and press firmly. Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until edges start turning golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting, 30 would be ideal but Daughter didn’t want to wait that long.
Cut into squares, plate and serve or package and give. We’re keeping these. Makes 14 bars or 28 bite size pieces…or really any amount you want. If Hubby had his way the whole pan would just be one giant date square for him.