Old-fashioned date squares

Prep 20 min
Total 1 hour 5 min
Makes 24 squares

Delicious date squares are a simple blend of brown sugar, oats, butter and sweet dates — a comforting treat for a cozy winter afternoon. If there’s a baked-goods equivalent to a hug, this is it.

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups
pitted dates
1 1/2 cups
2 tsp
1 3/4 cups
large-flake oats
1 cup
all-purpose flour
1 cup
packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
1 cup
cold unsalted butter

Instructions

  • PREHEAT oven to 350F. Lightly spray an 8-in. square glass or metal baking pan with oil and line with overhanging parchment.
  • COMBINE dates with water in a medium saucepan over high. Boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until thick, 6 to 8 min. Remove from heat.
  • STIR in vanilla and let cool.
  • COMBINE oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a food processor. Pulse 3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until oat mixture is crumbly (pea-sized). Transfer to a large bowl and quickly crumble with fingers to evenly distribute the butter. Spread two-thirds of oat mixture over bottom of prepared pan. Press down gently to make a crust. Scrape date mixture over crust and spread evenly. Layer with remaining oat mixture and press down lightly.
  • BAKE in centre of oven until top is golden brown, 30 to 35 min. Transfer to a rack and cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Cut into 16 squares.

Shopping tip: No need to splurge on Medjool dates for this recipe: We also tested it with packages cooking dates, and the squares were just as delicious!

Nutrition

Calories 196
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 30 g
Fat 8 g
Fibre 2 g
Sodium 55 mg
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How to make breakfast power bars (secret ingredient: dates!)

Issue: January 2015

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Photo credit: Date squares. (Photo, Erik Putz.)

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