Monday, November 8, 2010

Date Squares

So, I bought some dates. And I love dates, they are delish. But if I eat too many at once, my stomach does loop-d-loos. It's just not pretty. Also, incidentally, dates are crazy expensive. I didn't even see the price when I picked up the package, and then boom! Spendy little buggers, they are.

Date Squares by freshfromthe.com

Anyway! So, I had all of these dates. And they don't keep forever, so I decided to find some way to use them up before they went bad. So I searched around the internet and found this easy recipe for some date squares, which are quite similar to those peach shortbread squares I made recently too. The main drawback here was that I had to cut all of them up myself by hand. They're sticky, it took a while. I stopped caring about large chunks. C'est la vie! They mostly got broken up when cooking anyway.

Date Squares
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt 
Date Filling:
  • 2 packages (16 ounces) chopped dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or maple extract
Combine filling ingredients in saucepan; simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until mixture is thick. Set aside to cool. Mix flour, oats, sugar, butter, soda, and salt; press about half of mixture in a greased and floured 9 X 13-inch pan. Spread filling over the oat layer. Add remaining oat mixture and press down lightly with hands. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

In pictures:

First up, making the filling. This is the chopped up dates ready to go with the water, sugar, and vanilla.

After 5-10 minutes simmering, it looks like this. My dates were chopped roughly and rather largely, so it's perhaps chunkier than yours might be. I chopped those babies by hand!

While the filling cools, whip up the crust stuff. This is what it should look like when all mixed together.

Add about half of the crust stuff to the buttered 9x13 pan and pat down.

Next up is the date layer. Splooge that all around. Some of the oats ended up mixing in from the bottom layer on mine. No big.

And then add the rest of the crust stuff on top. Pat it on down evenly.

Date Squares by freshfromthe.com
And here it is, out of the oven. As you can see, it has browned a bit.

Date Squares by freshfromthe.com
Ta-da! A date square.

Quite yummy, if you like this sort of baked thingy. I happen to enjoy them, so I have to ration myself, or I might still get sick from too many dates!

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