I admit that I could live on date squares. They seem like the perfect food to me - full of sweetness, fibre, texture, fruit..... yes, some calories too, but I choose to ignore that. When I went gluten-free, they were sorely missed. I am happy to say that these are amazing. No one would ever know they were not the regular variety. The oat flour is the reason they are so close to the original, I think. The problem now is not eating the entire pan in one sitting.
I like big man-sized pieces, so I make mine in an 8x8 pan instead of the 9x9 the recipe called for. You can use all rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill are good) or a mixture of rolled and quick oats.
This makes them hold together a bit better (London Drugs in Vancouver is carrying a new brand of wheat-free oats from Regina that are really well priced and come in quick-cooking) I choose to make them vegan, but that isn't required. I also keep them in the refrigerator, though mostly to keep them out of sight, to lessen the temptation, if you know what I mean. Let me know how they turn out, if you can tear yourself away from the pan long enough to post a comment. Life is full of challenges...
GF | Vegan Date Squares
2 cups dates, cut up (I use Medjool)
1 cup Water
½ cup Sugar, coconut or Sucanet preferably
3 tbsp Lemon juice
Base and Topping
1 1/3 cups Oat flour, certified wheat free (Laura's Oat flour is available at Choices Market here in Vancouver)
¼ tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking soda
¼ tsp Xanthan gum
1 cup Brown sugar
1 ¾ cups Oats, certified wheat free
¾ cup Earth Balance vegan “butter”
Combine ingredients for filling in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thick and smooth, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum and stir well. Stir in brown sugar and rolled oats.
Cut butter into dry ingredients until crumbly.
Pat half of the mixture into a lightly greased 8"x8" pan. Spread with date filling. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over top. Pat down lightly.
Bake at 375° for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares when cool.
Adapted from a recipe in The Canadian Living Cookbook.
Diane Zwickel lives and knits in South Surrey, B.C. Canada