When I was 14 years old, I used to work in a small bakery on the weekends for extra cash as a cashier. The owner of the bakery used to make these awesome date squares and I would always have one when they were fresh, so I love date squares. I learned to make them then, but I have to say I don’t make them very often. It’s been years since I made date squares. I made them this time because my husband said he’d never tried date squares before, so I had to make them because I had a bag of dates and I wanted to use them. They are so simple to make, it’s not even funny.
Start by adding a cup of water to a medium saucepan and put this over medium heat. Add 3 cups of the dates to this and cook for about 10 minutes until pretty much all the water is gone.
While the dates are cooking, get the dry ingredients ready. In a large bowl, add the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
When the dates are done, add a tsp of vanilla extract to them, mix it well and then let them cool, then add them to your food processor.
At this point you can preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. After the dates have cooled, turn on the food processor and pulse them for a few seconds until the dates turn into a paste.
Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. In the food processor add all the dry ingredients that we mixed earlier plus a cup of butter cut in small pieces.
Pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is well incorporated.
Spread 2/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.
Next spread the entire date mix over and even it out with a spatula.
Next add the remaining crumb mixture on top.
Bake this for about 45 minutes.
Now let the dates squares cool completely, then place the dish in the fridge for a couple hours. Only after this cut the dates into small squares about 2 inch squares.