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.
- Yield:Makes 16 2- by 2-inch bars
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:60 minutes
- 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
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.
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).
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.
Bake until edges begin to brown and centre is golden, about 40 minutes. Allow to slightly cool, and cut into bars while still warm.