If you’re going to call yourself the best, you need to be ready to back it up. Fortunately, the Best Date Squares have the taste to prove their claims… just ask your tastebuds! A crunchy, buttery crisp supports a syrupy-sweet and fruity date filling that’s ooey-gooey good! Hints of molasses’ smokiness only highlight the old-fashioned deliciousness in every bite. Make a date to make some of the Best Date Squares!

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Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups Medjool dates, pitted, chopped, and lightly packed
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the crisp:

  • 1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup semi-salted butter, softened

Directions

Step 1 –Position an oven rack to the middle position.

Step 2 –Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

Step 3 –Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, letting it hang over the sides.

Step 4 –Butter the parchment paper and the baking dish.

Step 5 –In a pot, bring the dates, the water, the lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar to a boil.

Step 6 –Add the baking soda to the date mixture.

Step 7 –Simmer the date mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the dates have fallen apart, about 5 minutes.

Step 8 –Allow the date mixture to cool.

Step 9 –In a bowl, mix the oats, the flour, the remaining brown sugar, and the baking powder.

Step 10 –Add the butter to the oat mixture and stir to combine.

Step 11 –Spread 1/2 of the crisp mixture to the bottom of the square baking dish, pressing it firmly down.

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Step 12 –Layer the date mixture on the bottom crisp.

Step 13 –Cover the date mixture with the remaining crisp, pressing it down lightly.

Step 14 –Bake until the crisp is golden brown, about 55 minutes.

Step 15 –Let the date squares cool in the dish on a wire rack.

Step 16 –Use the parchment paper overhang to unmold the squares before slicing and serving.