Date Squares

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 8 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 1 min
  • Cook: 47 min
  • Yield: 16 squares
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12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Date Paste, recipe follows

Date Paste:

2 cups dates, pitted and diced

1 lemon, juiced and zested

Pinch salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking pan, and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking soda. Add butter, and blend with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer 2/3 of the crumb mixture into prepared pan, and press into bottom and up sides. Spread date paste over bottom layer of the dough. Cover with remaining crumb mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Invert onto a plate, then back onto a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Date Paste:

Yield: 2 cups
  1. Place dates in small saucepan with 1 cup of water, lemon zest, and juice. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat, cool completely before using.