I love date squares. I haven’t always, but it’s like pumpkin pie – it kinda grows on you after a while! Aside from the fact that the dates always remind me of cockroaches…wait, did I just say that in a a recipe?!?! I may have to delete this part later….
The 2 most important things about date squares are a nice, moist crust and TONS of filling. This recipe has both! As long as you don’t over bake it :0)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, 1 cup brown sugar, and baking soda.
Mix in the butter until crumbly.
Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch square or 11 x 8 inch baking pan.
I tried a few different ways to chop the dates, wondering which would be the least time-consuming and work. First, the hand chopper, and this was the result:
Not overly effective if you ask me :D But, it isn’t very sharp anymore, so a newer one might have worked. Christmas list? ;0)
I also tried chopping a small amount at a time, and just ended up with dates flying all over the cutting board. So, I resolved myself to the hard and messy route, which turned out to be the most effective. Large pile of dates + large knife + a little hard work = chopped to perfection!
Combine the dates, water (or orange juice – I actually juiced a few of the really sour clementines I had on hand and it worked perfectly for that citrus flavour!), and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and cook until thickened.
Stir in lemon juice, and remove from heat. Spread the filling over the base, and pat the remaining crumb mixture on top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven, or until top is lightly toasted. Better to underbake than to overbake these! Cool before cutting into squares.