Let me just say... I love dates. They are packed full of potassium, loaded with fiber and are naturally sweet. I pop them into salads, in couscous, sticky date puddings, have them as snacks with cream cheese and these... date squares. These squares were just. so. moreish.
Be warned, you may not be able to stop at one piece.
I found this recipe in Cintia Stammers 'The Book of Eggfree Cakes'. For this recipe, I used Medjool dates.
For this recipe you will need:
150g plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
100g traditional rolled oats
50g caster sugar (originally called for 100g, but I tweaked it down)
2 tablespoons of almond milk (not in original recipe)
1. Start by turning on the oven to 180 degrees (or 160 degrees for fan forced), and line a rectangular tin with baking paper.
2. Next, chop up the dates, and pop them and the water into a pot. Bring to a rolling boil, and cook for 5 minutes. The dates will become very soft. Using a strainer over a bowl, drain the date 'mash' as you want to reserve the water. Let this cool.
3. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and oats. Add to this the butter, chopped up into small cubes. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter cubes until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs/sand texture. Stir through the caster sugar. Add the water strained off from the boiled dates, and add the almond milk if the mixture feels too dry.
4. Spoon half of the mixture into the prepared tin and pat down lightly to form a good base. Dot over this small pieces of the chopped boiled dates. You won't be able to achieve a solid covering of the dates, but dot them evenly over. On top of the dates, spoon over the remaining cake mixture and again, pat this down lightly. You will have blobs of date peeking through the top that is fine.
5. Cook in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the top is a nice golden brown.
6. Remove from the oven, and let cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then lift out using the baking paper and rest on a wire cooling rack until cool enough to cut.
Then.... pop the kettle on, and enjoy your handiwork.