So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I love old fashioned recipes…you know, the ones that you would find in an old ratty cookbook that your mom bought from a church bazaar. I think date squares kinda fall under that category. Sure, now you can find them in every coffee shop but nobody really knows how easy they are to make…I mean totally easy. And, if you have never tried a date square, you really need to just bite the bullet and try one. Many people say, “but I don’t like raisins so…”. But a date is so NOT like a raisin. I’m not a raisin fan and I love dates….they are not gritty and, when baked, they melt into sugary goodness! So, give these a try (I’m testing some pumpkin ice cream to go along with these babies!). They are really crazy good and super easy…and dates grow on trees which make them fruit which means they’re healthy which means they negate all of the sugar and butter in this recipe which means you can have lots. Works for me…I’m on my 3rd piece!
3 c dates (rough chopped…see this post for handy cutting tip) *
1 c orange juice (or the juice + zest of one orange plus more water to make a cup)
1 1/2 c butter
1 1/4 c brown sugar
2 c flour
2 c oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
*I love Medjool dates for eating…they are soft and a great snack when you have a wicked sweet craving. But, they are more expensive than the baking kind (which you can find in a block form in the baking section of your grocery store) and, because we are simmering them in liquid, the baking kind are perfectly fine (and they are usually pre-chopped). So, whatever you use is okay!
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9×13″ pan with parchment. In a pot, simmer the orange juice and dates (I threw in a handful of chopped figs too just because they were hangin’ out in my pantry); stir and cook for about 5 minutes.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
3. In another bowl, mix flour, oats, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture.
4. It should look like a really thick cookie dough: pat half the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly to cover entire bottom. Reserve the rest of the dough.
5. The date mixture should look nice and thick (like a thick jam)…give it a stir and spread it on top of the cookie base.
6. Crumble the remaining cookie dough on top of the date mixture (like this)…you can’t try to spread it as it will make a mess of the date layer.
7. Once you are done with the crumble, just give it a gentle pat and bake for 30-40 minutes (or until it becomes golden on top (and the house starts to smell over the top awesome!).