Date squares or date bars are a favorite sweet treat at my house.
Dates were never one of my favorite things, but I must say that even I love this recipe.
Date squares are a fairly healthy recipe too. The dates themselves are very healthy for us. They are also sweet, so you don’t need to add too much sugar to the recipe. You can even cut down on the amount of sugar called for in this recipe. Try 3/4 of a cup and see how you like it.
The addition of oats to the topping and crust add another healthy ingredient. Oats are actually on our list of the 10 healthiest foods to eat. You can read more about the powerful health benefits of oats here.
One way you can make this recipe healthier is to use part or all whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour (all purpose flour always means white flour). Sift the flour through a sifter or strainer before you add it to the batter to keep the end result light.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, or margarine
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 pound dates, stone-free
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Rub or cut in the butter. Add the sugar and rolled oats. Mix it together well. Spread 1/2 inch of crumbs in a greased 8 inch square pan. Pat to make smooth.
To make the filling:
- In a saucepan boil the dates, brown sugar and water together until the dates are soft enough to be mashed with a fork, adding sufficient water to prevent scorching. The mixture should be of a jam-like consistency. Let cool before layering over the crust.
- Cover the crust layer evenly with the cooled date filling. Cover with the remaining crumbs. Pat to make smooth.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until pale brown. Leave the squares in the pan until they have cooled, then cut into squares.
- Makes 12 to 16 squares.
- Date bars don’t traditionally have nuts in the recipe, but a 1/2 cup of VERY finely chopped walnuts would be a nice addition to the crust and topping part of the recipe. It would add another dimension to the taste and extra nutrition. Find out why walnuts and almonds are so extremely healthy for us.