February 27, 2010
I’m not a big fan of date squares. I find them sticky, thick, and just not…vibrant…enough. However, I know that there are some people out there who just love them (hence the reason I made them to begin with), and I think this recipe yields some of the best date squares I’ve had.
They’re not overly sweet thanks to the lemon (some recipes ask for orange zest and juice, which I think just makes them too sweet), and I like the cinnamon and pecans in the oatmeal base and topping.
If you do enjoy date squares, then I think you’ll love these. They’re even better if you serve warm (cut them into pieces, then warm each piece up…trying to cut them into squares while they’re warm will just be messy) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Oatmeal Date Squares
adapted from Robin Hood: Home Baking
3 cups chopped pitted dates
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
BASE & TOPPING
1 3/4 cups oats
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup butter
Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
1. Combine dates, lemon zest, lemon juice and water, and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat , stirring often, until thick and smooth, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
BASE & TOPPING
2. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, chopped pecans, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. Using two knives, a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Press half of the mixture (2 1/2 cups) into prepared pan. Spread filling over base. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top. Pat down lightly.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden. Cool completely in pan on rack, then cut into squares.