When I was asked to participate in the A to Z recipe challenge, a challenge initiated on Facebook Group, I was wondering what could be my recipe, that too starting with the letter ‘D’? Date was something, that I thought about right from the beginning, but was not sure of something interesting with dates. Then, all of a sudden, I got reminded of this recipe, of bars or blocks, made of dates and oats.
These days, oats is a common feature in the breakfast, having a high nutritious and health value. And I could use it in a completely new avatar in this recipe; this thought made me super excited. Luckily the oats and dates bar came out pretty nicely, quite like the way I thought. Now, I am pretty pleased to live up to the challenge. I hope you will love this crunchy bites with the falvaour of dates.
“Oats & Dates Squares / Bars” is my contribution to the A to Z recipe challenge for the month of November. Letter “D” is the challenge for this month and I choose Dates as the key ingredient of my recipe.
Ingredients for :
- Dates – 300 gm.
- Oats – 150 gms.
- Plain flour – 100 gms.
- Brown sugar – 140 gms.
- Butter (cold & unsalted) – 150 gm.
- Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
- Baking soda – ½ teaspoon
- Ground cinnamon – 1/8 teaspoon
- Salt – ¼ teaspoon
Remove the seeds from the dates. Otherwise it is better to use pitted dates. Transfer the dates in a sauce pan. Add 1 medium cup of water to the dates and mix well. Put the sauce pan over low flame and cook the dates till they become mushy and absorb all water. Let these mushy dates come to the room temperature. Then make a puree out of these mushy dates in a grinder or food processor. Add vanilla extract while making the puree. Date filling is ready to be used.
Now pour the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon powder, sugar and salt in grinder or food processor. Grind for few seconds so that all ingredients mix well. Then cut the cold butter into small pieces and add to the dry oat mixture. Again process for few minutes till the mixture gets a crumbly short dough texture.
Grease a 20 cm. (7.8 inchs) square baking dish/ tin and line with a parchment paper. Use 2/3 of the crumbly oats mixture to make a thick bed in the baking dish. Then spread the dates filling over the oats layer. Crumble the remaining 1/3 oats mixture over the date layer.
Now bake in pre heated oven at 180ºC or 350ºF for 40-45 minutes until the top becomes golden brown.
Take out the dish from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Then cover the dish and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until it is firm enough to cut into squares.
Now transfer the whole oats and dates square on a plate and cut into small bars. It can be stored into refrigerator for one week.
- Baking tins may take lesser time (35-40 min.) to bake than a porcelain baking dish.
- If you are using salted butter then skip adding salt.
- I have used ‘Quaker’ quick cooking oats. But one can use traditional rolled oats as well.
- Try to cover the date layer completely with the crumbled oats mixture. I reserved lesser amount of oats mixture that is why it was insufficient to cover the whole dates layer.