DATE SQUARES & DATE CRUMB BARS

Date Squares

Delicious date bars, made with an oat crust and wonderful date filling.

INGREDIENTS:

* 3/4 cup margarine
* 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon soda
* 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats, uncooked
* date filling (below)

PREPARATION:
Directions for date squares.
Cream margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. combine flour, salt and soda; add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats, blending well.

Pat half of the mixture into a lightly buttered 13x9x2-inch baking pan; spread with date filling then top with remaining crust mixture.

Pat lightly to smooth top crust. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Cut into bars while still warm; remove from pan. Makes 32 date squares or bars.

Date Filling

1 1/2 pounds dates, chopped 1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups water

Date filling for date squares. Combine dates, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan; cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until smooth and thick. Cool slightly before spreading on oat crust. Makes 3 cups of date filling for date squares.

Date Crumb Bars

FILLING:
1 lb Whole pitted dates
2/3 cup Golden brown sugar; packed
2/3 cup Orange juice
1 tbsp Vanilla extract

CRUST:
1 1/2 cups Old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Golden brown sugar; packed
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 pinch Salt
1 cup Unsalted butter; chilled, cut into pieces
3/4 cup Walnuts; coarsely chopped

Stir dates, brown sugar, and orange juice in medium saucepan over med. heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer until dates are tender and syrup is thick, about 3 minutes. Cool; mix in vanilla. Puree filling in processor until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Crust:
Mix oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal and forms most clumps.

Firmly press half of crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Spread filling over crust. Add walnuts to remaining crumb mixture and sprinkle over filling.

Bake until topping is golden brown; about 40 minutes. Cool in pan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature) Cut into squares, serve.

Kitchen Witch,
Thanks so much, this sounds really good and I will try it this coming week. Everything seems to fit with the way I remember them. My grandson and daughter will thank you too. Will let you know for sure!