While she’s a very talented cook, she never loved baking sweets.
The beauty of these squares is that they’re not nearly as finicky as many desserts, and the flexibility makes them great for those who may not love baking or are still learning.
Date squares have been around for many years, and for good reason!
Using Barhi dates instead of the traditional Deglet or Medjool gives this dish a whole new flavour.
These squares are fabulous on their own, with a dollop of whipping cream or a scoop of ice cream.
- 8 oz. pitted Barhi dates, or approximately 1¾ lightly packed cups; you can also use whichever dates you have on hand; I, however, think Barhi dates are especially great in this recipe!
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1⁄8 tsp salt
- ½ cup butter
- 2 tbsp water (optional)
- 1 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Combine pitted dates and ½ cup of water in a saucepan on high heat and stir while bringing it to a boil. Once your mixture boils, reduce heat to medium while stirring and mashing the dates into a paste. Remove from heat and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl, mix to combine. Add the butter, cutting it into the flour; you may need a knife to start with if your butter is too cold, but mashing with a fork should work. Cut the butter in until it resembles very course crumbs.
Add the sugar, oats and nuts to the flour and butter mixture, using a fork to combine. If your mixture is too dry, add 1 tbsp of water at a time, mixing well in between. You should be able to grab a small handful of the mixture and squeeze it into a ball without it totally crumbling apart, though some crumbs are okay.
Scoop half the mixture into the bottom of a 8×8-inch baking dish, press it in as firmly as you can with your hands. Top the bottom crust with your date mash and spread it around evenly. Now add the rest of your crust and lightly press it in; you don’t want to use too much force, but you want it to evenly cover the dates and stick together.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° Celsius for 25 minutes or until your crust looks dark golden brown.
Let your date squares cool before cutting and serving; the cooler they are the firmer they’ll be. Enjoy!
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