One of my favourite coffee shop treats would have to be date squares. To me the perfect pairing would be a strong cup of espresso or soy latte and a crumbly and sweet date square.
You never realize how simple something is to do until you try it and when I went about making these I realized that for years I had been under the false assumption that it would take lots of time and effort to make date squares, but by the time I was finished it had only been an hour.
Dates have always been a favourite snack of mine and I was lucky enough to buy a large container of them on sale so have plenty on hand to spare. I prefer to use fresh one and not dry one that you can find in the bulk section of many grocery stores.
This recipe does cut the amount of sugar down to barely any as I think the dates do a great job at sweetening the squares. If you prefer to add more sweetness I recommend adding it to the crust and crumble and not to the date paste as that would overload the sweetness.
This is a great recipe to have on hand for times when you have company over for coffee or are looking for a nutritious and rather filling snack.
- 1 Cup gluten free flour, I used oat flour
- 1 Cup gluten free rolled oats
- 1 Tbsp honey or ½ Tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup
- ½ Tsp vanilla
- ¾ Cup vegan butter, cold
- 1½ Cups pitted dates, chopped
- Dash of salt
- Boiling water
- Place chopped dates in a heat proof bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover. Set to side.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 cake pan with parchment paper.
- In mixing bowl blend flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs.
- Stir in sweetener and rolled oats. Do not overmix, it should still be fairly crumbly.
- Remove dates from water and gently squeeze to remove excess water.
- Add dates and vanilla to a food processor and blend together, it should form a thick paste.
- Using your hands push roughly ⅓ of the oat crumble into the bottom of the cake pan, making sure it is evenly covered and pressed down firmly. Chill in refrigerator for 5 minutes.
- Once base is hardened pour date paste on top and gently smooth out to all edges. If you find the date paste is too sticky, dampen your fingers to help smooth it out.
- Pour remaining oat crumble on top and and gently push down, it should still be loose.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until oat being to turn golden brown.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely before cutting and serving.
- Will keep in refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for 2 month.