Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I do not like dates. I find them sticky and the texture doesn’t agree with my palate. My husband, on the other hand, buys dates and eats them by the handful. My mother-in-law emailed me a recipe to use up the abundance of dates we have from our last Costco trip. As I didn’t have some of the ingredients she listed, I turned to the internet for ideas and found myself on the Joy of Baking site. I followed the recipe from www.joyofbaking.com and was happy to find that I enjoyed the resulting date squares. Served with a cup of tea, these date squares are a nice alternative to coffee cake or biscuits. I’ll serve these to my in-laws on their next visit and I think they’ll be pleased.
Here are the ingredients provided by www.joyofbaking.com :
Filling: 3 cups of dates (pitted and cut into pieces), 1 cup water, and 1 tsp vanilla
Crust: 2 cups old fashioned oats, 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment or foil and grease with butter or cooking spray.
I used a food processor to combine the crust ingredients and likely chopped up the oats in smaller pieces than necessary. The result tasted very good but if you prefer to see and taste the texture of the oats, mix the crust ingredients together in a bowl by hand or with a pastry blender.
While the recipe does not call for this step, I chose to pre-bake the crust. I thought the filling was so thick and gooey that I’d have better luck baking the crust thoroughly if I gave it a slight head start. I filled the pan with 2/3 of the oat mixture then baked it for 12 minutes, until it was fragrant and starting to brown.
Meanwhile, make the filling by bringing the cut dates and water to a simmer for 10 minutes. The dates soften quickly. Take them off the heat to cool and add in the vanilla before pureeing the mixture.
Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust, top with the remaining oat mixture and bake for 30-40 minutes.
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