My mom made THE very best date squares (we called it Matrimonial Cake) ever. This is the same recipe but with a touch of baking chocolate powder.
- 2 cups chopped pitted dates
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed and divided
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (large flakes, not instant)
- 1 tsp. lime zest
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. baking powder chocolate
- 1 cup butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick oil and line the pan with parchment paper, making sure to overhang 2 inches. Turn the pan and add another piece of parchment paper, overhanging by 2 inches. Spray the parchment paper lightly.
Combine the dates in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the temperature to low, simmering about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar, lime juice and vanilla. Let stand to cool slightly.
Combine the flour with the remaining brown sugar, oats, lime zest, baking power and chocolate in a large bowl. Add the butter, working into the oat mixture with your fingers.
Spread one half of the oat mixture into the prepared baking pan. Press gently to form a crust. Spoon the date mixture over the crust and spread it evenly right to the edge of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over the dates, and press down gently .
Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes until the top is golden. Transfer to a rack and cool completely in the pan.
Slice into squares. When served warm….absolutely heavenly. Served at warm temperature…the same! It is awesome.