full disclaimer: i LOVE these squares, they're one of my favourite things ever and i don't like sharing.
this recipe comes courtesy of my dear mother in-law, who is kind enough to ensure my freezer stays full. (i actually enjoy these squares the most when they are chilled, which also means i have no safe place to keep them. ugh. first world problems i know.)
you should also know i've also never made these squares for myself, if i were to start you could count on a worldwide date shortage within mere months. so i will continue to limit/ration the squares i have and eagerly await the next 'care package' (hint hint.)
i have the best mother in-law. xo.
base and topping
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
3 cups dates, pitted and diced
3/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Combine dates, hot water, sugar and salt together in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until dates are soft and water is absorbed; add vanilla and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 350F, lightly grease 9-inch pan and set aside.
In large bowl stir together flour and baking soda; add in oats and brown sugar mixing well. Work in butter with a fork until mixture is crumbly.
Spread half of oat mixture in the bottom of prepared pan and pat down. Cover with cooled date filling and pat with 1/2 of the remaining oat mixture, the sprinkle over lightly with the remaining half.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Let cool before cutting into squares
note: for thinner squares you can opt to use a 9" x 13" pan