A classic comfort treat!
Prep & Baking Time: 1 hour
Makes: 9 x 13 pan, 20-25 squares - this recipe can easily be halved
Base & Topping
3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
3 cups flour -use all purpose, whole wheat or a blend of the two - if you need or prefer gluten free substitute with a flour blend
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups coconut sugar or brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups plant-based butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 lbs or approximately 6 cups pitted dates chopped -no need to soak the dates ahead of time as you will be heating them up in water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cup water
2/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 350°F
In a large mixing bowl combine the plant-based butter and sugar, cream together with a wooden spoon.
Add the remaining ingredients and blend until the consistency of wet sand.
Press half of the mixture into a 9x13 baking pan. If you do not have a 9x13 baking pan you can use any high-sided oven safe dish. Ideally you want to create a layer of filling and base approximately 1-1/2 inches thick before adding crumb topping to maintain the same baking time.
Over medium heat using a large saucepan, combine the pitted chopped dates, water and 2/3 cup sugar. Allow mixture to come to a boil, stirring occasionally. The dates will begin to breakdown the longer they are cooked. Continue to cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and the liquid had been absorbed, around 10-12 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir to combine.
Spread the date mixture over the prepared base in the pan; use the back of a metal spoon or rubber spatula if needed. Using a fork stir the remaining topping mixture to break up any large lumps and sprinkle evenly over the date filling layer.
Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Topping should be browned when squares are done.
Allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
Cool completely before freezing.
Tips & Variations: