Sunday Brunch: Oat and Date Bars

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Dates are one of the many dried fruits that are delicious in both sweet and savory foods, and are also nutritious and full of fiber. In these simple layered bars, a soft date mixture is sandwiched between a crumbly, cinnamon-flavored oat-based crust. These bars are not only great for a simple brunch, but would travel well to someone else's get together, or even the office if you feel generous.

Make these the night before and serve them at room temperature in the morning with plenty of strong black coffee to compliment the steadying sweetness of the soft dates.

About the author:
Sydney Oland lives in Boston where she completed her graduate work in Gastronomy and Food Studies in 2009, after a Professional Chef diploma from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Find more information at www.sydneyoland.com (or read www.eatingnosetotail.com)

Sunday Brunch: Oat and Date Bars

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About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 16 2- by 2-inch bars
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:60 minutes
Special equipment:8- by 8-inch baking dish

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped, pitted dates
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat oven to 400°. Combine water, dates and 1/4 cup sugar in saucepan over medium high heat. Cook until dates are soft and liquid is thickened, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

  2. 2

    Combine flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt and mix well. Using your fingers or pastry cutter to combine butter with dry ingredients until dry dough is formed (between crumble topping and pie crust).

  3. 3

    Butter 8- by 8-inch baking dish and press half crust mixture into the bottom. Pour date mixture over, then remaining crust mixture gently pressing the top crust into place.

  4. 4

    Bake until edges begin to brown and centre is golden, about 40 minutes. Allow to slightly cool, and cut into bars while still warm.

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