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Date Squares

Date Squares
If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating a date square, with its layers of crumbly-crunchy oatmeal crust sandwiching vanilla-scented, jammy date filling — you’ve missed a delicious (and classic) treat. While some date square recipes combine filling and crust in one chewy bar, I prefer this three-layer approach.
  • Preparation20 min
  • Cooking1 h 5 min
  • Makes9 to 16 squares
  • Freezes:Yes


  • Filling

    • 2 1/2 cups (425 g) Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (lightly packed) or any date you prefer
    • 1 cup (250 ml) water
    • 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • Crisp

    • 1 3/4 cups (175 g) quick-cooking oats or any alternative you prefer
    • 1 cup (150 g) unbleached all-purpose flour or g/f flour blend
    • 3/4 cup (160 g) brown sugar or coconut sugar
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 cup (170 g) semi-salted butter, softened



    • With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Line a 20-cm (8-inch) square baking dish with a strip of parchment paper, letting it hang over both sides. Butter the other two sides.
  • Filling

    • In a pot, bring the dates, water, lemon juice, and brown sugar to a boil. Add the baking soda and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, or until the dates have fallen apart. Add vanilla. Let cool.
  • Crisp

    • In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking powder. Add the butter and stir to combine.
    • Spread half the crisp in the baking dish and press firmly. Layer with the date mixture. Cover with the remaining crisp and press lightly. Bake for 55 minutes or until the crisp is golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for 4 hours. Unmould and cut into 16 squares.

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