I’m a little obsessed about date squares. There’s something about this sweet bar with a chewy oatmeal crust that packs a punch. They make a satisfying snack or a nice breakfast with a cup of coffee. I’ve even served them with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert. My kids go crazy for them too – which is great since they’re packed full of vitamin C. Below is my basic recipe for date squares. One day, I didn’t have enough dates to make the recipe properly, so I improvised. I added about a cup of dried cranberries to the date mixture. My family ended up liking them better than the original recipe! Since then, I’ve experimented more and added diced apples and cinnamon. All three versions are delightful and sure to please a crowd.
This is the basic date square recipe which you can dress up. You’ll need a 9 inch square baking pan. When you dress them up and add an additional 3/4 cup of cranberries or alternatively 1 to 1 1/2 cups apple and a teaspoon of cinnamon, I recommend switching to a 9 x 13 baking pan.
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 pound pitted dates, diced (12 ounce box)
1 cup water
Tablespoon of honey
Half a medium sized lemon, juiced
Preheat the oven to 350 F
To make the crumble, in a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Mix in the butter until crumbly. You can use a food processor for this also, just be sure not to over process. Press half of the crumble mixture into the bottom of your baking pan.
To make the filling, in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the dates, water and honey. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Spread the filling over your base and add the remaining crumble mixture on top. Pat lightly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Your top should look lightly golden. Cool completely before cutting into squares.